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Centres and Peripheries in Celtic Linguistics

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Edited By Maria Bloch-Trojnar and Mark Ó Fionnáin

This book examines various aspects of Celtic linguistics from a general and more specific point of view. Amongst the topics investigated is the system of Irish initial mutations from both a linguistic universal and contrastive perspective. Other contributions analyse and cast new light on deverbal adjectives and assertive and declarative speech acts in Irish, communication and language transmission, change and policy, Breton and Sorbian grammars, as well as other issues of sociolinguistics in Irish, Welsh and Breton.

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The Welsh Language in Education from the 19th Century Until the Present Day: Did the Popularisation of Welsh in Education Improve Its General Situation? (Paweł Tuz)

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Paweł Tuz

The Welsh Language in Education from the 19th Century Until the Present Day: Did the Popularisation of Welsh in Education Improve Its General Situation?

Abstract: Being a medium of everyday communication for a significant part of the population of Wales, the Welsh language was not entirely absent from education in the first half of the 19th century. However, the 1847 Report of the Commissioners of Enquiry into the State of Education in Wales was a convenient reason for the ensuing Anglicisation of education, which was best exemplified by the ‘Welsh-Not(e)’ penalties for pupils. The 1944 Butler Education Act facilitated the gradual re-introduction of Welsh into schools, and nowadays every pupil in Wales has to attend Welsh classes. Nevertheless, the present situation of the language is substantially different from what it was in the 19th century. The primary aim of this chapter is to examine how the position of the Welsh language in education has evolved over the last 200 years. The second aim is to juxtapose these findings with the changes in the number of Welsh speakers over the same period. The third issue approached in this text is whether there has been any correlation between the changing status of Welsh in education and the number of speakers thereof, or whether the current situation of Welsh results from other factors. To answer these questions, the author employs the concept of language policy, as defined by Bernard Spolsky, who contrasts...

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