Gaelic language in public domains

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the relationship between official Gaelic language management initiatives, as articulated through language planning documents and the de facto linguistic practices of Gaelic speakers in Stornoway, the largest settlement in the Western Isles of Scotland, and the last remaining heartland of the language. Drawing on quantitative data collect through ethnographic observations in different public places and language use diaries of Gaelic / English bilinguals it can be concluded that the use of Gaelic in public domains is driven by different factors, including the linguistic soundscape created by members of staff.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGaelic in Contemporary Scotland
Subtitle of host publicationThe Revitalisation of an Endangered Language
EditorsMarsaili MacLeod, Cassie Smith-Christmas
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781474420655
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Gaelic
  • sociolinguistics
  • minority language

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  • Profiles



    • 1 Participation in conference
    • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation
    • 1 Invited talk

    1st Conference on Frisian Humanities

    Ingeborg Birnie (Participant)
    25 Apr 201826 Apr 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Rannsachadh air Gàidhlig an Steòrnabhagh

    Ingeborg Birnie (Interviewee)
    22 Mar 2018

    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

    Cite this

    Birnie, I. (2018). Gaelic language in public domains. In M. MacLeod, & C. Smith-Christmas (Eds.), Gaelic in Contemporary Scotland: The Revitalisation of an Endangered Language (pp. 128-140). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.