Gaelic Language Revitalization Concepts and Challenges: Collected Essays
Based on research about Scottish Gaelic language revitalization, the chapters in this collection focus on a number of interconnected themes, including the intersection of neoliberalism and minority language revitalization; discourses of language death and revival in literature, media, and academia; the intertwining of language ideologies and affective stances in speaking and speakerhood; power and knowledge in the research and representation of minority language communities; and the theoretical frameworks of reversing language shift (RLS) and communities of practice as applied to language revitalization efforts in Scotland and Nova Scotia. Essays include the author’s previously published articles and book chapters spanning the period 2005–2013, as well as three previously unpublished papers. The collection is suitable for undergraduate and graduate-level courses in multiple fields including linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, Celtic studies, and education.


Dr. Emily McEwan-Fujita has been involved with Scottish Gaelic language and culture for 30 years. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and has taught linguistic and cultural anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, Loyola University Chicago, University of Pittsburgh, and Saint Mary’s University. A former editor of the Small Languages and Small Language Communities section of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Dr. McEwan-Fujita now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


“I’m glad that a new volume strong on Gaelic survival, persistence, and revitalization is now on offer, with due emphasis on social setting and social factors. Congratulations to the author on bringing such a strong body of work out in a form where it can be appreciated as a whole.” —Dr. Nancy C. Dorian


Publication date: March 2020
Pages: 396
Size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 978-1-988747-36-1
Retail price: $69.99 US | $89.99 CDN | £54.99 UK

ISBN: 978-1-988747-37-8
Retail price: $34.99 US | $45.99 CDN | £27.99 UK

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Part 1:  Knowledge and Representation
1 Sociolinguistic ethnography of Gaelic communities
2 Research and representation: Gaelic and Uist

Part 2:  Discourses of Death and Revitalization
3 Discourses of death and denigration: Ethnolinguistic differentiation and the ideology of contempt
4 “Gaelic doomed as speakers die out”? The public discourse of Gaelic language death in Scotland
5 Language revitalization discourses as metaculture: Gaelic in Scotland from the 18th to 20th centuries

Part 3:  Neoliberalism and Language Revitalization
6 Neoliberal discourses of Gaelic language revitalization: The “Gaelic economy” and “rocketing spending”
7 Neoliberalism and minority language planning in the Highlands of Scotland

Part 4:  Language Ideologies and Affect
8 Ideology, affect, and socialization in language shift and revitalization: The experiences of adults learning Gaelic in the Western Isles of Scotland
9 Ideologies and experiences of literacy in interactions
between adult Gaelic learners and first-language Gaelic speakers in Scotland
10 Working at “9 to 5” Gaelic: Speakers, context, and ideologies of an emerging minority language register

Part 5:  New Speakers and Reversing Language Shift
11 Gaelic revitalization efforts in Nova Scotia: Reversing Language Shift (RLS) in the 21st century
12 “Ìle ga Bruidhinn”: A community-based Gaelic dialect revitalization proposal



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