GAELIC LANGUAGE USE SURVEY
09-01-1995
http://www.uoc.es/euromosaic/web/document/gaelic/an/e1/e1.html
Research Centre of Wales
Gaelic language use survey

INTRODUCTION:

This survey benefited from the existence of census data which was of advantage in creating a representative sampling frame. On the other hand there were the inevitable local difficulties, this time deriving from the relatively small percentage of speakers and their concentration in the Western isles. Whereas the bulk of the interviews derived from the high density area it was decided to undertake some of the interviews in the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in order to ascertain the problems associated with language production, reproduction and use in such an environment which lacks the customary support agencies.

As we see, most of the respondents were drawn, originally, from the core areas of the Hebrides and the Highlands. In contrast with Wales, this is one of the problems facing Gaelic - it has a high density in a concentrated area in contrast to a low density in most of Scotland.

MAIN RESIDENCE SINCE 3 YEARS OLD

SELF

MOTHER

FATHER

PARTNER

Hebrides

201,00

246

238

165,00

Highlands

45

22

27

43,00

Lowlands

44,00

22,00

22,00

66,00

Ireland

0

1

1

2,00

Wales

0

0

0

1,00

England

6

5

5

8,00

Outside B.I.

4

3

5

3,00

NA

0,00

1,00

2,00

13

The parents of the respondents were also drawn primarily from these areas but with a greater preponderance from the Hebrides.

PARENTAL BIRTHPLACE

FATHER

MOTHER

Hebrides

250

250

Highlands

19

19,00

Lowlands

19

19,00

Ireland

1

1

Wales

0,00

0,00

England

6,00

4,00

Outside B.I.

4,00

7,00

NA

1,00

0,00

Of the 21 respondents born outside Scotland, at least eight moved to Scotland as adults.

LANGUAGE ABILITY:

Most of the respondents had Gaelic as their first language, with a further 12% claiming to have both Gaelic and English as first languages. Of those who had learnt the language as a second language most had done so either through living in a Gaelic speaking community or by formal classes at school, some other educational institution or on television. Most of these had learnt the language for family or community reasons or through a general interest.

FIRST LANGUAGE

Gaelic

229,00

76%

Gaelic and English

36,00

12%

English

30,00

10%

Other

5,00

2%

The following table indicates the self-claimed ability in Gaelic and English of the respondents:

LANGUAGE ABILITY - ENGLISH AND GAELIC

Gaelic

 

English

Very Good

Quite Good

SOME

NONE

 

Very Good

Quite Good

SOME

NONE

Understand

249,00

41,00

7,00

3,00

 

278,00

18,00

0,00

4,00

Speaking

219,00

58,00

20,00

3,00

 

278,00

18,00

0,00

4,00

Reading

128,00

99,00

65,00

8

 

279,00

16,00

1,00

4,00

Writing

95,00

101

74,00

30,00

 

268,00

26

1

5,00

Fig.1         Fig.2

Once again we find the customary difference between abilities that is linked with the exclusion of minority languages from the formal education system. It is noticeable that the level of ability with reference to understanding is considerable higher than for reading and writing and that a significantly greater number claim not to be able to write Gaelic than applies to any of the other skills. Unsurprisingly the state language of formal education scores much better across all abilities.

FAMILY USE

It is evident from the following data that most of the respondents came from families where all members spoke Gaelic. The level of use was high among the two preceding generations but was sustained in the respondents generation. Evidently most of them used the language widely with other family members. On the other hand the amount of English used has increased over the past two generations.

FAMILY ABILITY AND LANGUAGE USE AS CHILD

Ability

Use

Yes

No

Alw G

G>E

G=E

E>G

Alw E

NA

Mat GPs

259

41

183

19

15

8

17

58

Pat GPs

239

61

168

21

12

3

26

70,00

Mother

269

31

180

37

31

18

19,00

15

Father

261

39

169

37

25

16

25

28,00

Brother

214

86

130

22

30

20

34

64,00

Sister

213

87

122

27

30

23

33

65,00

Partner

152

148

142,00

 

-

-

-

-

Fig.3         Fig.4

This data is reflected in the use which the respondent's parents made of the respective languages when they were children. Clearly a small minority had chosen to abandon Gaelic as the family language in favour of English.

PARENTAL LANGUAGE TOGETHER AS CHILD

Gaelic only

213,00

71%

Gaelic>English

21,00

7%

Gaelic=English

9

3%

English>Gaelic

9,00

3%

English only

32

11%

NA

16

5%

Not surprisingly the same order of figures apply to the partners of the respondents:

LANGUAGE USE OF PARTNER WITH RELATIVES

 

Always G

G>E

G=E

E>G

Always E

NA

With father

51

14,00

17,00

10,00

32,00

176,00

With mother

59,00

21,00

27,00

12,00

27,00

154,00

With children

39,00

21,00

32,00

29,00

57,00

122,00

With in-laws

47,00

27,00

15,00

17,00

55,00

139,00

Fig.5

The movement away from Gaelic to English is clear and appears to be increasing in the present generation:

LANGUAGE OF CHILDREN TOGETHER

Always Gaelic

14

5%

9%

Gaelic >English

12

4%

8%

Gaelic=English

22

7%

14%

English>Gaelic

25

8%

16%

Always English

80

27%

52%

NA

147

49%

-

Fig.6

The number who use Gaelic exclusively is small compared with the number of children who use English exclusively. This should be a cause of concern. The impact of English is evident in the use of that language when using the telephone, both at work and at home.

The actual use of Gaelic and English in the home is found below. It indicates that a substantial number of respondents use English exclusively as the language of the home, while the exclusive use of Gaelic is far less. It would appear that different family members use the languages in different ways together where there is no exclusive use of one language or another. Thus children may speak one language with their father and the other with their mother.

HOUSEHOLD LANGUAGE AT PRESENT

Always Gaelic

G > E

G = E

E > G

Always Eng.

NA

Mealtime

70

31

47

43

74

35,00

With father

51,00

14,00

17,00

10,00

32,00

176,00

With mother

59,00

21,00

27,00

12,00

27,00

154,00

With partner

51,00

17,00

26,00

24,00

66,00

116,00

With children

39,00

21

32

29,00

57,00

122,00

With in-laws

47,00

27,00

15,00

17,00

55,00

139,00

Fig.7

LANGUAGE ON THE TELEPHONE

 

Alw G

G>E

G+E

E>G

Alw E

NA

At home

15,00

25,00

62,00

36,00

140,00

22,00

At work

12,00

6,00

28,00

29

139

86,00

 

Alw G

G>E

G+E

E>G

Alw E

NA

At home

5%

8%

21%

12%

47%

7%

At work

4%

2%

9%

10%

46%

29%

Fig.8

COMMUNITY:

This transition from Gaelic to English is also evident at the community level:

COMMUNITY USE OF GAELIC AS CHILD AND NOW

Situation

As a child

Now

 

Freq.

Occ.

Rare

Nev.

Freq.

Occ.

Rare

Nev.

Street

256,00

13

6,00

25,00

126,00

97,00

37,00

40,00

Shops

244,00

15

11,00

30,00

108,00

90,00

41,00

61,00

Church

251,00

16,00

8,00

25,00

135,00

86,00

30,00

43,00

Clubs

190,00

41,00

20,00

49,00

75,00

115,00

44,00

66,00

Fig.9

While the number of respondents who claim that the language is never heard in these contexts does not change, a significant number claim that the degree of use of Gaelic in the community has declined. What is not included of course is the point of reference, and many may well have been referring to different communities as their reference points.

The picture is not too bright when one considers the language of children's leisure activities. The following table clearly shows that the number of activities that are exclusively in Gaelic are markedly few and even those where Gaelic predominates are rare. Evidently the world of the young is increasingly becoming an English language world.

PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN IN ACTIVITIES AND LANGUAGE USED

Always G

G > E

G = E

E > G

Always E

Neither/NA

Loc feisean

7,00

7,00

7,00

1,00

4,00

274,00

Local Mod

26,00

9,00

6,00

2,00

2,00

255,00

National Mod

12,00

7,00

4,00

3,00

1,00

273,00

Sradagan

6,00

5,00

1,00

0,00

1,00

287,00

Croileagain

13,00

7,00

4,00

1,00

2,00

273,00

Scouts

0

0

0

0

11

289,00

Guides

0

0,00

1

4,00

21

274,00

Boy's Brigade

0

0

0

0

7,00

293,00

Girl's Brigade

0

0

0

1

91

290,00

Football

1

0

5

8,00

46,00

240,00

Gymnastics

0

0

2,00

2,00

13,00

283,00

Swimming

1,00

0,00

1,00

7,00

49,00

242,00

Cycling

0,00

1,00

1,00

3,00

32,00

263,00

Sports training

0,00

0,00

2,00

5,00

45,00

248,00

Riding

0,00

0,00

1,00

1,00

11,00

287,00

Nature

1,00

0,00

1,00

0,00

5,00

293,00

Piping

1,00

0,00

1,00

3,00

13,00

282,00

Other music

2,00

0,00

5,00

7,00

13,00

273,00

Drama group

5,00

0,00

3,00

1,00

8,00

283,00

Cadets

0,00

0,00

0,00

1,00

7,00

292,00

Rugby

0,00

0,00

0,00

1,00

12,00

283,00

Fishing

2,00

2,00

3,00

2,00

1,00

280,00

Other*

1,00

1,00

4,00

3,00

3,00

258,00

* sum of three choices.

Fig.10

The opportunity to use the Gaelic language in day to day activities is shown below:

LANGUAGE USE IN THE COMMUNITY

CONTEXT

I cAN

I CAN't

NA

I DO

I DON't

NA

Family doctor

48,00

208,00

48,00

27,00

143,00

130,00

Dentist

26,00

219,00

55,00

16,00

150

134,00

Buy petrol

131,00

118,00

51,00

105,00

86

109,00

Buy newspaper

144

117,00

39,00

104,00

99,00

97,00

Police station

74,00

176,00

74,00

17,00

134,00

149,00

Local pub

123,00

83,00

94,00

82,00

86,00

132,00

Buy theatre tkt

23

135

142

4

96

200,00

Car repair

122

105

73

87

96

117,00

Hairdresser

78

175

47

54

116

130,00

Sports training

24

115

161

9

78

213,00

Library

52

167

81

26

119

155,00

Teacher

59

59

182

42

45

213,00

Restaurant

84

143

73

37

134

129,00

Local councillor

144

115

41

102

98

100,00

Shopping

151

114

35

108

97

95,00

Driving test

19

138

143

2

102

196,00

Solicitor

49

148

103

22

109

169,00

Bank manager

66

176

58

34

148

118,00

Wash mach repair

76

166

76

40

137

123,00

Water bill

39

159

39

12

109

179,00

DSS office

30

169

101

4

124

172,00

Hi -fi repair

34

176

90

6

134

160,00

Book holiday

29

179

92

3

142

155,00

Optician

27

218

55

3

157

140,00

Social worker

62

150

88

21

100

179,00

Clergy

200

68

32

166

69

65,00

Tax office

26

206

68

8

143

149,00

Power cut

22

226

52

4

165

131,00

Ask the time

190

81

29

159

68

73,00

Telephone op.

22

223

55

8

168

124,00

Gas leak

21

144

120,00

8

104

173

Fig.11         Fig.12

Several patterns are evident from this table. The professionals tend not to speak Gaelic and when they do the language may well not be used with them. The ability of the language in the various public services is also low and the use even lower. Local services seem to be run by Gaelic speakers but there is no guarantee that the language will be used. The highest level of ability and use pertains to local politicians and the clergy. Evidently ability is not guarantee of use and there is a tendency to selectively use the language by reference to person.

At the institutional level the picture is not good. Few frequent shops or pubs where the language is exclusively Gaelic even though the language is widely used there. In this respect it would seem that social interaction is by no means tightly structured by reference to language group. Whereas many participants in sports activities speak Gaelic the language is not widely used. Most have neighbours who speak the language and tend to use the language with their neighbours.

LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP

Gaelic ability

All

>50%

50%

<50%

None

NA

In pub

45,00

24

47

23

39

122

In shops

57,00

16,00

36,00

14,00

137,00

40,00

Sports clubs

7

11

13

3

66

200

Cult. act.

49,00

27

35

39

55

95

Neighbours

108,00

13,00

25,00

14,00

115,00

25,00

Language used use

G

G>E

G=E

E>G

E

NA

In pub

28

32

54

43

25

118,00

In shops

33,00

24,00

36,00

39,00

116,00

52,00

Sports clubs

5

3

13

15

64

200,00

Cult. act.

22

43

53

43

34

105,00

Neighbours

71,00

36,00

40,00

44,00

73,00

36,00

Fig.13         Fig.14

These observations can be expanded upon by reference to the following table:

LANGUAGE OF SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS

 

Alw G

G > E

G = E

E > G

Alw E

NA

Church

15

47

73

31

54

80,00

Sports clubs

1

5

8,00

14

35

237,00

Non org. sports

1

3

7

2

23

264,00

Fishing

1

2,00

0

2

8

287,00

Choir

10

7

7,00

7

4

265,00

Round table

0

0,00

1

0

4

295,00

Rotary

0

0,00

0

1

3,00

296,00

Lions

1

0

1,00

1

4

293,00

Brit. legion

1

1

1,00

1

6

290,00

Theatre

1

0,00

3

13,00

42

241,00

Drama group

4

7,00

3

1,00

9

276,00

Voluntary work

3,00

4,00

16

8

25,00

244

Freemasons

1,00

4

1,00

2

4,00

288

Local Mod

21

13

20,00

6

5

235,00

Local feis

10,00

10

12,00

4

5

259,00

WRI

0

1,00

1

2

5

291

Other women's gps.

1

2

6

4,00

10,00

277

Dancing

2,00

5

11

4

11

267

Keep fit

2,00

1

6

8

30

253,00

Local politics

1,00

2

4

8

11,00

274

Pub

11

29

49

37,00

18

156

Dining out

5

20

76,00

44

58

97

Visit friends

3

50,00

94

5

18,00

54

YFC

1

1,00

1

2

5

290,00

Gaelic youth club

1,00

2

5

2

2,00

288

PTA

1

2

10,00

4,00

18,00

265

Environment

0

0,00

1

1

3,00

295

Pre-school group

14,00

8,00

5,00

3,00

5,00

265

Fig.15

Most of the activities tend to involve English. Even the religious activities focus upon the English language. The main difference pertains to the choir and visiting friends.

The more specifically Gaelic activities are fairly well attended but the activities of the young do suffer in this respect.

GAELIC LANGUAGE LEISURE ACTIVITIES

 

Regularly

Sometimes

Seldom

Never

National Mod

48,00

48

20

184,00

Local Mod

68,00

47,00

28

157,00

Gaelic play

27

33,00

40,00

200,00

Gaelic concert

53

63,00

36,00

148

Ceilidh

64,00

75,00

38

123,00

Gaelic club

41

23

19,00

217,00

Play-group

24,00

16

11

249,00

Parent's group

10

6

3

281,00

Youth club

6

11,00

8

275,00

Youth camp

4

9

10

277,00

Feisean

18

25

20

237,00

Church

96,00

76,00

24

104

Choir

49

24,00

17,00

210,00

Fig.16

The Church and the choir are highly attended but so are the less formal activities and the literary activities.

EDUCATION:

When we turn to consider the third primary agency of language production and reproduction - education, it is necessary to realise that the data covers a considerable time span. Thus any recent gains in bilingual education does not necessarily show through:

LANGUAGE OF CHILDREN'S EDUCATION

PRE SCHOOL

PRIMARY 1

PRIMARY 2

SECONDARY

HIGHER

Eng. only

216,00

208

171

141

156,00

E, & Gaelic as subj.

31

117

145

156

20,00

Bilingual

35,00

30,00

29

13

11,00

Gael med.

40

29

22,00

8

6,00

NA

877

816

833,00

882

1010,00

Fig.17

Thus few of those interviewed had children who had received bilingual education, the best they had received was some attention to Gaelic as a subject, almost as a foreign language! Indeed the figures for educational activities are not good if one is concerned about the ability of the educational system to produce the language.

This is partly related to the absence of choice with almost half of the respondents claiming that no choice of education by reference to language was available. On the other hand it is also significant that the number who express no preference is evident suggesting that the militancy found elsewhere with reference to language and education is missing.

LANGUAGE CHOICE OF CHILDREN'S EDUCATION

PRIMARY

SECONDARY

English only

32,00

33,00

Gaelic as subject

20,00

36,00

Bilingual

7,00

4,00

Gaelic medium

24,00

5,00

No choice available

87,00

70,00

No preference

6,00

7,00

Fig.18

DISTANCE NEEDED TO TRAVEL FOR LANGUAGE OF CHOICE

PRIMARY

SECONDARY

Within catchment

68

64,00

Outside catchment

41,00

23,00

Not available

58,00

58,00

NA

133

155,00

Evidently those wishing to receive such education are subjected to considerable inconvenience compared with those who settle for education in the state language.

LANGUAGE OF SCHOOL SUBJECTS

G only

G>E

G=E

E>G

E only

NA

Mathematics

9,00

2

2

6,00

133

148,00

Science

5,00

3,00

2

3,00

138,00

149,00

Geography

5,00

2,00

3,00

2,00

135,00

153,00

Religion

6,00

2,00

5,00

3

128,00

156,00

Business

4,00

2

2

2,00

113,00

177,00

Arts/Crafts

9,00

2,00

2,00

1,00

136,00

150,00

Gaelic

36,00

11

17,00

10,00

41,00

185,00

History

8,00

2,00

3,00

3,00

133,00

151,00

PE

5,00

2,00

4,00

1,00

138,00

150,00

Foreign lang.

3,00

3,00

2,00

3

106,00

183,00

Fig.19

This rather glum picture of Gaelic in education is evident in the preceding table of the language of education by reference to subject. Even Gaelic tends to be taught through the medium of English in some cases. That is, children are obliged to have their mother tongue taught to them through the medium of another language!

It is quite remarkable that the same state can have such different situations with reference to language and education within its territory as that experienced through comparing the services offered through the medium of Welsh with those offered in Gaelic. Certainly there is no uniformity of provision.

THE WORLD OF WORK:

Most of the respondents worked for local or Scottish companies or establishments. In the private sector they were in SMEs but a considerable number worked for local authorities in the public sector.

SIZE OF WORKFORCE OF COMPANIES/ESTABLISHMENTS

LOCAL

ALL BRANCHES

0

65

131,00

2-4

18

6,00

5-24

80,00

6

25-50

41

8

51-250

35,00

15

251

4

76,00

NA

13

58,00

A considerable number of their colleagues spoke Gaelic but the tendency was less at the supervisory level. The following table makes it clear that the use of Gaelic in work is far less than the ability to do so.

GAELIC ABILITY AND LANGUAGE USE OF CO-WORKERS

All

>50%

50%

<50%

Nil

Superv.

48

12,00

12,00

7,00

107,00

Colleagues

54,00

19

28

23

88

Subords.

29,00

8

13

6

69

Clients

39,00

14

29

20

81

GAELIC LANGUAGE USE OF CO-WORKERS

G

main G

G=E

main E

E

NA

Superv.

21

23

20

34

94

108,00

Colleagues

18

36

41

56

60

89,00

Subords.

9

17

17

34

58

165,00

Clients

12

34

31

52

54

117,00

Fig.20         Fig.21

It is hardly surprising that English is so essential in work but it is perhaps surprising that Gaelic skills are required to the extent that is claimed:

IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE SKILLS IN WORK

Gaelic

English

Essent.

Useful

Neith.

NA

Essent.

Useful

Neith.

NA

Understand

72,00

86

71,00

71,00

207,00

11,00

5,00

77,00

Speak

64,00

98,00

68,00

70,00

213,00

10,00

0

77,00

Read

42,00

58,00

129

71,00

206

10,00

7,00

77,00

Write

45

35,00

118

87,00

167,00

9,00

8,00

101,00

Fig.22

Use of Gaelic by the employers is limited and pertains mainly to dealing with the public:

USE OF GAELIC BY COMPANY

Yes

No

NA

Answer telephone

25,00

249,00

26,00

Reception

17,00

253,00

30,00

Customer relations

32

244,00

24

Sales persons

7,00

246,00

47,00

Visiting represents.

3

252,00

45,00

Deal with public

32

242,00

26,00

Supervision

17,00

256,00

27,00

Other

18

257,00

25,00

MEDIA:

There has been considerable expansion in Gaelic media services in recent months and the following figures make it evident that these services are more popular with the respondents than are their English language equivalents:

MEDIA EXPOSURE

Hours

Radio

Television

 

Gaelic

English

Gaelic

English

0

96

84

86

34,00

1

109

81

153

64,00

2

42

59

18

62,00

2+

53

76

43

140,00

Fig.23

Unsurprisingly readership of the print media is considerably greater in English than in Gaelic, especially when we consider the relevance of the different literacy rates:

PRINT MEDIA

Books

Newspapers

Gaelic

English

Gaelic

English

Often

38

147

29

230,00

Sometimes

74

76

50

42,00

Occasionally

66

40

81,00

17

Never

122,00

37,00

140

11,00

Fig.24

The figures for self identity are indecisive. While most of the respondents claim a Gaelic and Highland identity there are those who do not, this pointing to highly developed regional identities which do not allow more than one such subjectivity. The highest identity is Scottish and this also relates to the relatively low degree of British identity.

IDENTITY

 

HIGH

MEDIUM

NO

Gael

181

36

83,00

Highland

104,00

57

139,00

Islander

180

16

104,00

Local

204

11,00

85,00

Scottish

243,00

16,00

41,00

British

25,00

100

175,00

European

28

57

215,00

Other

6

0

294,00

Fig.25

These subjective comments can be supplemented by reference to data pertaining to the degree of agreement or disagreement with the following attitudinal statements:

1 (-) To get on, there are more valuable languages to learn than Gaelic

2 (+) It seems to me a good idea that councils strongly support Gaelic in their administration

3 (-) Gaelic is a dying language

4 (+) To keep their true identity the Highlands and Islands need their Gaelic speakers

5 (-) You are considered lower class if you speak Gaelic

6 (+) In order to work in the public sector in the Gaelic areas, one should be able to speak Gaelic

7 (-) Gaelic has no place in the modern world

8 (+) It is essential that children in the Highlands and Islands should learn Gaelic

9 (-) The Gaelic language cannot be made suitable for business and science

10 (+) Speaking Gaelic helps people get promotion in their jobs

11 (-) Most people view things associated with Gaelic as too old-fashioned

ATTITUDE SCALES

Ag str.

Agree

Neutral

Disag

Disag str.

NA

More val langs to get on

21

114

50

78

26

11,00

Gaelic in Co. admin.

96

147

34

15

0

8,00

Gaelic dying lang.

3

50

38

113

89

7,00

Gaelic for identity

158

123

12

3

2

2,00

Gaelic = low class

1

18

13

116

146

6,00

Gaelic for pub. sec. work

120

131

27

20

0

2,00

Gaelic not modern

1

6

20

144

126

3,00

Essential for children

125

105

34

29

2

5,00

Not for business/sci.

7

44

56

122

59

12,00

Good for job promotion

17

54

89

110

7

23,00

Gaelic old fashioned

7

68

41

137

36

11,00

Fig.26

Clearly there is a tendency to view Gaelic as a feature of a local identity which affords some degree of status but the status of the language relative to other languages is low. This is a measure of the low prestige of the language. There is an emotive attachment to the value of the language for such an identity and for its persistence to the future, but there is also an uncertainty about its entry into the world of work and business.

Turning to a consideration of the interest scales it is clear that there is little confidence in the will of the central authorities in London or in Scotland by reference to affording support for the language group as a language group. The local authorities do fare a little better but the distance between the scores for 'self' and 'friends' on the one hand and the representative authorities on the other is evidently a source of considerable frustration. Religious bodies and churches, that is, community institutions are seen as the main source of support.

INTEREST SCALES

 

1 (min)

2,00

3,00

4,00

5,00

6,00

7,00

8,00

9,00

10 (max)

NA

Present government

103

53

47

34

39

10

4

0

1

1

8,00

Scottish Office

53

38

56

51

57

17

8

4

0

2

14,00

Local authorities

35

13

29

40

45

37

29

36

12

11

13,00

Other public bodies

44

25

43

43

45

21

11

10

3,00

1,00

54,00

My friends

7

6

14

29

45

37

34

58

29

32

9,00

Myself

2

1

4

17

26

25

29

59

37

97

3,00

Churches

13

13

22

28

51

35

31

54

18

23

12,00

In-comers

47

40

36

31

51

21

20

20

1

2

31,00

Private business

63

40

42

32

41

11

8

7

0

1

55,00

Fig.27

CONCLUSIONS:

This is an interesting case study in that the recent injection of capital into the broadcasting of Gaelic language programmes could have far reaching influences. However the data that we have considered indicate clearly that far more than this is necessary. It is conceivable that these development will generate a certain increase in language prestige and language status. However it is questionable if the Gaelic language group has the personnel to be able to sustain such developments.

The data that we have seen indicate that the ability of the family and the community to act as agencies of reproduction is under threat. Furthermore a great deal more has to be gained in education for that to be able to fill the gap. There is little indication thus far that Gaelic is playing much of a role in the world of work but that may change with the advent of increasing activity in the media, education and public administration. This will certainly be necessary since it would appear that the desire of the language group to sustain itself is not too apparent.

©Euromosaic