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The Edinburgh Companion to the Gaelic Language

Edited by Moray Watson, Michelle Macleod

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Covers all aspects of Scottish Gaelic and places the study of the Gaelic language within the context of modern linguistic research

Bringing together a range of perspectives on the Gaelic language, this book covers the history of the language, its development in Scotland and Canada, its spelling, syntax and morphology, its modern vocabulary, and the study of its dialects. It also addresses sociolinguistic issues such as identity, perception, language planning and the appearance of the language in literature. Each chapter is written by an expert on their topic.

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Notes on Contributors
1. A History of Gaelic to 1800: Colm Ó Baoill
2. Language in Society: 1800 to the modern day: Michelle Macleod
3. Gaelic Place-names: Richard A. V. Cox
4. Language in Gaelic Literature: Moray Watson
5. A' Ghàidhlig an Canada: Scottish Gaelic in Canada: Kenneth E. Nilsen
6. Hebridean and Mainland Dialects: Seosamh Watson
7. The Gaelic Language-Group: Demography, Language-Usage, -Transmission and -Shift: Kenneth MacKinnon
8. Language Planning: Robert Dunbar
9. Sociolinguistic Ethnography of Gaelic Communities: Emily McEwan-Fujita
10. Gaelic Vocabulary: Andrew Breeze
11. Gaelic Orthography: The Drunk Man's Broad Road: Ronald Black
12. Phonology in Modern Gaelic: Anna R. K. Bosch
13. Gaelic Morphology: David Adger
14. Gaelic Syntax: David Adger

About the Author

Moray Watson is Programme Co-ordinator of the Celtic Department at the University of Aberdeen.

Michelle Macleod is a Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen.


The Edinburgh Companion to the Gaelic Language is to be recommended as a valuable addition to the body of introductory texts covering Gaelic studies. Readers will find that this volume accomplishes the editors' aims to fill many of the gaps which have hindered the study of Gaelic and to promote future research endeavours.
- Mairi Henderson, University of Aberdeen, Reference Reviews
In this concise companion to the Gaelic language, editors Moray Watson and Michelle Macleod are to be congratulated for bringing together a series of chapters covering a whole range of issues pertinent to the language today. Remarkably, the book manages to cover this field in less than 400 pages in a manner that for the most part is accessible to the layperson as well as to academic experts. The brevity of this review precludes a proper assessment of this concise 'companion'. This book is an outstanding example.
- Douglas Chalmers, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scottish Literary Review
The Companion is somethigin of a Cyclopaedia of Gaelic and it will be very useful to many people.
- Cothrom
This is an important and valuable book, and the editors and publishers are to be congratulated on bringing it out.
- William Gillies, University of Edinburgh , ASLS (Apr 2014)

The 14 essays of this volume guide readers through the history and development of the Gaelic language in Scotland and in North America, with a focus on Gaelic as a distinct branch of Celtic Studies. Contributors link traditional modes of scholarship with more recent research in social sciences and theoretical linguistics; they grapple with language decline and critically examine revitalisation efforts. The book is indeed a Companion, providing a well-researched survey of key topics in Gaelic lanuage, literature and society and offering stimulating ideas for future research.

- Margo Griffin-Wilson, University of Cambridge, The Journal of Scottish Name Studies