Effect Of Scots Gaelic On Scottish Linguistics English Language Essay

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Man is a social animal. To exchange meanings, facts, ideas and opinions to each other, every human being need to develop a media which will help to engage in communication. This media is nothing but language. Language is treated as symbol of identity, for Instance in France people speak French, Germany people speak German language and etc. globalization is changing the facets of culture, as the countries are integrated to each other, the usage of language becomes common and reducing the number of languages. The regional languages and minority languages are becoming the part of history. There are number of minority languages in Europe, but they are getting more pressurized by the majority and centrist languages like English, French and Spanish which are dominant languages in Europe. Scotland's linguistic and cultural past and present tend to be more simplistic in the 'common' or general view of Scotland abroad. Most people are content to simply know that English is the dominant language of Scotland and that there is a language called Scottish Gaelic, which, although a symbol of the Celtic culture of Scotland, is in a position of drastic decline. Because of the prominence to English language, the Scottish is in the danger of losing its identity. In this report I analyzed the effect and importance of Scot Gaelic in creating the Scottish linguistic identity. The Scottish renaissance is one of the important historical literary movements of the early 20th century that can be seen as Scottish version of modernism. It is sometimes called as Scottish literary movement which displayed a profound interest in modern philosophy and technology as well as a strong concern for the fate of Scotland's declining languages. Thus here the main emphasis is on the effect of Scot Gaelic on Scottish linguistic identity in the period 1980 - 2010.

Executive Summary

Table of Contents

Abstract 01

Executive Summary 01

Introduction 03

Historical Background 03

Gaelic Language 04

Gaelic Identity and their Issues 05

Challenges successes and continuous problem 05

Gaelic: Separate nation 06

Internal Circumstances 06

External Circumstances 06

Future of Gaelic and there possible solution 07

Important events took place since1980 07

Gaelic Vs Basques; similarities / differences 08

Discussion and Evaluation 08

Does this relate to the area of the world you come from? 09

Conclusion 10

References 10


The paper outlines and focuses on the effect of Scot Gaelic on Scottish linguistic identity in the period 1980-2010. Scotland was a Celtic nation that became the part of Great Britain. Celtic people occupied a large part of the Europe before the Roman Empire. At the time of Roman conquest of Europe, Celts people migrated to Britain and lived in exile. They eventually migrated to northern part, which is now called Scotland today. The two principal languages spoken by people in the Scotland are Gaelic and Scottish. The History of Gaelic language originates in the 5th century B.C, when the Celts started to speak this language. After when the Celts began to start moving to Scotland it became the Scot Gaelic. At first the Celts initially settled in Ireland, thus there is little influence and mix of Irish on the Gaelic language. For any nation, the language and culture is the primary identity. Gaelic is the language spoken by most of the Scottish in the earlier days. After growing the English speaking population, the language Gaelic is losing its identity from generation to generation. This paper briefly layout the historical background, internal and external pressures and the important events have taken place in the period 1980 - 2010. In the country of Scotland at present English is the first speaking language because of the England's political and cultural domination during the past 3000 - 4000 years. There are also least known languages which most of the population are speaking now a days' too. Those are Scottish and Gaelic which are still there in Scotland

Historical background

Scottish and Gaelic have emerged from the North West nations called Celtic nations and these nations speak the common language called Celtic. The territories recognized as Celtic nations are Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Isle of Man (now a part of Scotland), Scotland (Alba), and Wales. The areas of Iberian Peninsula particularly Galicia are also considered a part of Celtic nations.

Gaelic is the traditional language of Scotts and Gaels. And it is the historical and majority spoken language of Scotland. It is also said that Gaelic was spoken in Argyll before the roman period. But lately the Northern Ireland and western Scotland has expanded the Gaelic language, which made the establishment of Gaelic church. The Gaelic language is also spoken in the Rhinns by the 5th century. In period of 450 AD the first Irish Gaels and the Scots had arrived in Scotland and these peoples settled in Argyll. The Gaelic leader Kenneth MacAlpin is combined the Picts and Gaels, is became the first ruler of Alba, Alba is the remained Gaelic name for Scotland. Gaelic peoples had spread their culture throughout the country, and Gaelic language became the king courts. Gaelic is an important factor of Scottish politics. By the increasing of urban centers, Gaelic peoples are starting to lose their language, and they are accepted English is the official language of the country, and they are followed by 1707 act of union. In the 19th century the Gaelic peoples suffered, the government attacks all the highland culture. In the mid of 20th century the Gaelic language is very low. In 1970s, Gaelic began to create a new generation of Gaelic speakers. They are invented schools, youth clubs and Gaelic television programs.

Scottish Gaelic is known as Highland Gaelic, it is making a decision it from invalid Lowland Gaelic. Lowland Gaelic peoples are southern part of Scotland; Lowland Gaelic is introduction as lowland Scots. Gaelic peoples are creating a new Gaelic development agency and vocational courses in Gaelic environment.

Gaelic Language

Scottish Gaelic developed their language after the 12th century, beside with other Goidelic languages. From around the early 16th century From around the early 16th century, Scottish-English speakers gave the Gaelic language the name Erse (meaning Irish in Scottish-English), and thereafter it was invariably the collection of Middle English dialects spoken within the Kingdom of Scotland, that they referred to as Scottis (see Scots language). The Scots Gaelic emerged from the vast European common wealth of Celtic nations. The culture of Gaels spread throughout the country, and their language became the language of the king, court and most common people. James IV (1473 - 1513) was the last Scottish monarch to speak Gaelic. The intensification of urban centres and the emergence of Scots as the language of the Royal court in the 15th and 16th centuries, Gaelic began to lose its dominance. This is also a result of adoption of English as the official language. Gaelic also suffered severely in the 18th and 19th centuries as a result of the Government attack on all aspects of Highland culture following the defeat of the Jacobites in 1746, and from the effects of the Clearances which destroyed many Gaelic-speaking communities throughout the Highlands. By the middle of 20th century the language is almost lacked the existence levels, but in the mid 1970's, there began a grass-roots renaissance which aimed to create new generations of Gaelic-speakers. There is much need to be done to ensure that Gaelic is seen to belong not to the past but as having a dominant role to play in the Scotland's vibrant cultural failure.

At the same time, the so-called 'Gaelic renaissance' of recent decades is clearly connected to strengthening perceptions of Gaelic as a national language, something of importance to Scotland as a whole; it is also related to the increasing emphasis on Scottish political and cultural distinctiveness in general, a shift made most manifest in the devolution settlement of 1998, which led to the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. [i] In 2003 a survey carried out that 66% of Scottish population agree with 'Gaelic is the important of Scottish life and Gaelic is need to promoted', a much more positive result than emerged from similar research conducted in the early 1980s (Market Research UK 2003; MacKinnon 1981). Public support for Gaelic tends to be shallow and vague, however, and does not necessarily translate into backing for proactive language revitalization measures (McLeod 2001b).

At that time connection among the Gaelic language and Scottish nationalism - in the conventional sense of the term in Scottish parlance, i.e. Separate Scottish state independent of the existing United Kingdom - is a weak one. They are hold up for Scottish independence by no resources signals a commitment to Gaelic, and speaking Gaelic by no means signals support for Scottish independence. Gaelic revitalization hard works in Scotland thus has small connection, evident or otherwise, to the separatist cause, and they are not associated with any one political party.

Gaelic Identity and their Issues

How far Gaelic speakers and their language spread across Scotland is observed by the Gaelic place names in the Scotland. Even though Gaelic is still in decline, there is cause for hope with increasing the numbers of people being educated and make them know about the language. And children are educated through the Gaelic medium and with the force of Gaelic act itself which gives the legislative vigour to the renaissance to sustain and protect the Gaelic language and culture. Gaelic still occupies a dominant place in the Scottish culture and it has never been totally displaced of national language status, and still it is recognized and speaking by many Scots as being a crucial part of nation's culture. But the language is having the impression of regional language of the highlands and islands. In the Scottish politics the Gaelic continued existence is the very important factor. After the battle of Culloden, in 1746 the language suffered particularly in Highlands and their traditions were offended, and during the Highland clearances.

The Government of Scotland and Scottish parliament passed an Act in 2005, Gaelic Language Act which is the first piece of legislation to give formal recognition to the Scottish Gaelic language. The Gaelic language Act aims to secure Gaelic as on official language of Scotland giving the equal respect with the English language, by establishing Bord Na Gaidhlig as part of the framework of government in Scotland and also requiring the creation of a national plan for Gaelic to provide strategic direction for the development of the Gaelic language. Bord na Gaidhling act also provides the creation of Gaelic language policy by Scottish public authorities. Thus the government in Scotland and the cultural groups are trying to save the language by creating the identity about Gaelic.

Challenges successes and continuous problem

The national plan of Gaelic, publish by Bord Na Gaidhlig in early 2007, makes clear that the current position of the Scottish Gaelic language is "extremely Fragile". A decline over 11% in the number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland to under 59000 from 1991-2001 is indicative of the threat facing the language. The national plan helps to set forth a series of challenges, vision and development of the language by imparting the compulsory Gaelic education and compulsory school Gaelic medium and ultimately increasing the Gaelic medium speakers in Scotland. The language planning principles and policies are formulated by the plan to achieve the targets of Language acquisition and the usage. Though there is notable success achieved in the recent years, there is still much work to be done. One of the main challenges is they want to provide high quality resources to support the continued statistics of growth of education and learning opportunities for those wishing to develop their knowledge, understanding and usage of Gaelic language.

Gaelic: Separate nation

Internal Circumstances

The uncertain future of Scotland's Gaelic language has promoted both cultural institutions, government organizations to take steps toward preserving the language. Most recently the Scottish government promised a huge funding package for early Gaelic education programs because of the internal pressures from the cultural groups to support the language and the Gaelic speakers tend to be extremely proud of their language's unique history. When it comes to the saving a language organizations such as the Gaelic agency Bord na Gaidhlig and the Gaelic parent group comann nam parant Edinburgh have both expressed support for the increased funding, which is seen an essential in elevating the status of the Gaelic language in Scotland. The Gaelic language is being conserved in other ways as well. Scots language radio broad casts, television programs and news papers are available throughout regions where Scots Gaelic is spoken.

External Circumstances

The Gaelic people's battle to save the future of the Gaelic language isn't taking place only in Scotland and its borders. The Canadian province of Nova Scotia, Scottish immigrants and their ancestors, also has a proud Gaelic language tradition that it is fighting to save. According to Gaelic council, the territory is only the region outside Scotland where in Scotland the Gaelic language and their cultures in every day community life. The Gaelic council successfully established the Cape Breton Region Municipality for long term maintain of Gaelic people and their tradition development into the region. In 1983 the Gaelic council is decided to learn the Gaelic culture and language.

Future of Gaelic and there possible solution

The Gaelic people think they want to improve their Gaelic language. And to protect their Gaelic language and their culture and their identity in Scotland. And they were improving economically and socially. And they spread their culture and identity to the world. The past century the Gaelic is a central role play in Scotland. In 2001 census Gaelic speakers are in Scotland is 58,650. In 2003 Michael Russell introduces a private bill in parliament. That bill will grant Gaelic is equality with English in public, social and political life. Day by day in Scotland Gaelic speakers are decreasing, to solve these problems in public, private, educational, politics and all life instead of English use as Gaelic.

The Gaelic people want to protect their Gaelic language; language is the important to recognize their language to the world wide with English. Today English is the global language and with English to communicate, business, media and etc.

Important events took place since1980

The Gaelic council, Nova Scotia's Gaelic is in a dangerous state, and Gaelic peoples need development in the region has been identified in 1987. In 1987 university of Cape Breton introduce international discussion for Gaelic language and Gaelic culture. In 1989, follow up conferences and development Gaelic language and culture. In 1990 detained in Sydney, the Gaelic language and culture were to be saved as social and economic sources of the province. In 1997, the Gaelic council Nova Scotia was prepares a report and submitted their Minister of Education. This report is summarized for Gaelic languages and impact on identity. In 1999, form a Nova Scotia's department of tourism and cultured a meeting in Highland village. And discuss the policy of how to protect the Gaelic language and Gaelic culture. The meeting participants are came from community, language and culture academic.

In 2002, Gaelic development steering group was formed; the group represents the participants are community of Gaelic language and culture. And staff from the culture of Nova Scotia. The group main goal is policy of Gaelic language and culture in Nova Scotia. In 2002, the Gaelic policy and culture discuss a paper that paper was prepared by Gaelic development steering group and that paper release in Gaelic and English by the department of tourism and culture. In 2002, November the Gaelic Nova Scotia, the social impact and economic of Gaelic language and culture by Michael Kennedy was reported and released by the department of tourism and culture. This report consists of history, sources, language and culture of Gaelic in Nova Scotia. In 2003, the Gaelic development steering group was released a report. The report consists of committee meetings and impact and strategies of Gaelic language and culture.

Gaelic Vs Basques; similarities / differences

Basque peoples are not feeling Spanish, but Gaelic peoples are feeling Scots but they want spread their language entire country. But Basque peoples want to separate nation. Idaho is the one of the largest population of Basque; it is in outside of Spanish. In the European continent the Basque is the oldest language and group. Basque country is made up of the surroundings of Europe. Basque language is the only one oldest language in the Europe and no similarity language in Europe. The Basque country and Gaelic people's main goal is language, culture and their identity. The Basque peoples to achieve their goals through peaceful factory but Gaelic peoples are achieving their goals through violence. The Basque importance is to protect their language and culture, and their identity. Similarly same as the Gaelic peoples important is to protect their language, culture and their identity. Both the Gaelic and Basque nationalists are differed from the sovereignty by Spain and Great Britan. The Basque government is formed in 1979, now this government known as Basque Autonomy community. This community is ruled past Basque national party. This party has peaceful coexistence with Spanish. At same time the Gaelic council, agree with peaceful in 1978 during the inspiration of ETA. In Basque political groups are formed two groups and same as the Gaelic peoples are form one political group.

The Basque country is attack and tries to improve their language in Spanish; the issue of Basque is to improve their language, culture in Spanish government and private life. But in Gaelic the important is to protect their language, culture and their identity. In Scotland the public and private life they were implied Gaelic and English, in political, education, media, public and privates the Scotland Government provide the Gaelic language, the main reason is day by day the Gaelic speakers are decreasing in Scotland, they were trying to protect their Gaelic language, culture and identity, but in Basque they want to separate nation and they were implied each and every life the Basque language is implied like political, social, media, public and private. They are implied not only peace, they are tried to force to imply their language, both situations are different.

Discussion and Evaluation

In Scotland day by day the Gaelic speakers are decreasing according to 2001 census 58,650 members. The total population at least 30% peoples are also not speaking Gaelic language. Scotland and Great Britan are surrounding, the language impact on Scotland, the Scotland peoples are speaks only English, they are forget their own Gaelic language and culture, they are learning English and they speaks only English. And they are not recognizing their Gaelic language to world.

Does this relate to the area of the world you come from?