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Language Arts & Disciplines Sociolinguistics

Gaelic Language Revitalization Concepts and Challenges

Collected Essays

by (author) Emily McEwan-Fujita

Bradan Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2020
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
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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the author’s previously published articles and book chapters spanning the period 2005–2013, as well as three previously unpublished papers.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.

About the author

Contributor Notes

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 formerly 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. She blogs about Gaelic language and culture at

Editorial Reviews

“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

“…I found it exciting and inspiring to read much of McEwan-Fujita’s published work together in one place and to see the development of thinking across multiple projects and research contexts. […] To sum up, [the text reviewed here is] critical, constructive and provide[s] an exemplary level of detail. The focus is naturally on Gaelic, but the work has wide implications for language policy, linguistic anthropology, and minority language sociolinguistics more generally. I consider mysef fortunate to have read and reviewed [this] excellent [text], which advanced my knowledge and provided much inspiration.” —Dr. Claire Nance

“McEwan-Fujita’s significant scholarship on the sociolinguistics and anthropology of Gaelic revitalisation is of considerable interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students – not just of Gaelic, but of language decline and revival more generally. It is very beneficial to have some of her most important work in a single volume.” —Dr. Stuart Dunmore