Welsh in the Twenty-First Century

Welsh in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Delyth Morris
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
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  • Book Info
    Welsh in the Twenty-First Century
    Book Description:

    This book analyses the state of the Welsh language at the beginning of the twenty-first century, with contributions from leading scholars in the fields of sociology and language policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7083-2300-7
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Padraig Ó Riagáin

    As an Irish academic whose primary interest concerns minority language policy, I have long been an intent observer of related research on the other side of the Irish sea. There are, of course, differences between the Irish and Welsh cases in terms of both the linguistic and policy context. But these differences are more than balanced by many historical and structural similarities. Thus I have been much more than a detached observer. I have learned a great deal from the theoretical schemes, methodological approaches and empirical findings of my Welsh counterparts. In time, this interest was strengthened and consolidated by...

  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    Delyth Morris

    The idea for a collection of papers looking at the Welsh language at the beginning of the twenty-first century was first suggested by the economist Roy Thomas at a meeting of the Economics and Sociology Section of the University of Wales Guild of Graduates in November 2006. The imminent demise of the University of Wales as a federal institution meant that it was only a matter of time until the Economics and Sociology Section also ceased to exist, and it was felt that there was a need to mark the occasion. The section was established at the beginning of the...

  5. Language, Meaning and the Knowledge Economy
    (pp. 7-35)
    Glyn Williams

    We are at the cusp of change, from one variety of capitalism to another. It involves new roles for the state, new relations of production and new forces of production. It reverberates in how the various social science disciplines change, and how new forms of the understanding of language appear.

    The reference point for the change is that which is referred to as immaterial labour, which is defined as the activity of themanipulation of symbols. Immaterial labour involves two different components. The informational content of the commodity refers directly to how skills increasingly involve computer use and both horizontal and...

  6. From Act to Action in Wales
    (pp. 36-60)
    Colin H. Williams

    This contribution seeks to tackle the question: To what extent have key aspects of the 1993 Welsh Language Act been effective? The answer is based on evidence gathered over a period of three years which reflects the experience and response of policy-makers, public officials charged with implementing the Act, and those Welsh Language Board staff responsible for regulating the process, dealing with complaints, conducting investigations and submitting advice and recommendations to the government via the minister so as to ensure compliance with the Act.

    Currently there is pressure to update and reform the process by which the political and legislative...

  7. Increasing Bilingualism in Bilingual Education
    (pp. 61-79)
    Colin Baker

    Modern Welsh-medium education is often regarded as commencing in Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth on 25 September 1939. The first HMI inspection of this school was conducted on 13 February 1948 (Welsh Department, Ministry of Education, 1948). The report states: ‘Welsh is the language of instruction and the language of play . . . This policy is rigidly adhered to’ (p. 3). However, the report also mentions that children learnt English folk songs, were taught arithmetic in the top class through English, and English was used for English language and literature lessons. Thus the first modern Welsh school used two languages for...

  8. Young People and their Use of the Welsh Language
    (pp. 80-98)
    Delyth Morris

    Consecutive Censuses of Population have shown a steady increase in the percentage of young people who can speak Welsh in Wales. This increase has been generally welcomed, and the Welsh Assembly government, recognizing the potential of this pool of young bilingual speakers for the survival of Welsh, has made young people a specific target in its Welsh language strategy,Iaith Pawb(National Action Plan for a Bilingual Wales). It states:

    The Assembly Government is acutely aware that if Welsh is to flourish, young people in particular need to develop a sense of ownership for the language and to see it...

  9. Children’s Acquisition of Welsh in a Bilingual Setting: A Psycholinguistic Perspective
    (pp. 99-117)
    Enlli Môn Thomas and Robert Mayr

    One of the most fascinating aspects of language acquisition is the young infant’s ability to transform their developing knowledge of the complex underpinnings of language into overt expressions of speech. In the first three years of life, they are able to participate successfully in communicative interactions, producing language that mirrors that of their environment. At that stage, they will not only have learned to produce individual word forms that approximate those of the language(s) they are learning, but also to combine them to form twoand three-word expressions. Eventually, the child who was initially only able to utter a few indistinct...

  10. Welsh Speakers: Age Profile and Out-Migration
    (pp. 118-147)
    Hywel M. Jones

    The age profile of people reported by the Census as able to speak Welsh has changed substantially in recent decades. The pattern in which a lower percentage speaks Welsh in each generation has seemingly been halted, so that the percentage able to speak Welsh amongst school-age children is now much higher than the percentage able to speak Welsh in their parents’ generation. A similar pattern can be seen too in the numbers, rather than percentages, of Welsh speakers. These changes reflect not only the effects of education but also changes to the composition of the population of Wales arising from...

  11. Attitudes to Language and Bilingualism among English In-Migrants to North Wales
    (pp. 148-168)
    Howard Davis, Graham Day and Angela Drakakis-Smith

    The future of the Welsh language is intimately connected with the attitudes, culture, identities and language of those in Wales who do not speak Welsh. This includes the Welsh-born English-speaking population and a substantial minority born outside Wales. This paper is concerned with the latter category: those originating outside Wales who are most likely to define themselves as English or from English backgrounds. The scale of population mobility is substantial. Between 1981 and 1990 some 600,000 people chose to settle in Wales, the vast majority from elsewhere in the UK (Osmond, 1987; Day, 1989). The proportion of English-born people living...

  12. Index
    (pp. 169-174)