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Nancy C. Dorian
is an American linguist
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....
who has carried out research into the death of the East Sutherland
Sutherland is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic administrative county of Scotland. It is now within the Highland local government area. In Gaelic the area is referred to according to its traditional areas: Dùthaich 'IcAoidh , Asainte , and Cataibh...
dialect of Scottish Gaelic for over 40 years, particularly in the villages of Brora
Brora is a village in the east of Sutherland, in the Highland area of Scotland. The village is situated where the A9 road and the Far North Line bridge the River Brora...
Golspie is a coastal village in Sutherland, Highland, Scotland. It has a population of around 1,650 people. It is located picturesquely on the shores of the North Sea in the shadow of Ben Bhraggie ....
For the scientific organisation, see European Molecular Biology Organization.Embo is a village in the Highland Council Area in Scotland and the former/postal county of Sutherland, about 2 miles NNE of Dornoch....
She received her Ph.D from the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...
and is a former professor in linguistics and anthropology at Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College is a women's liberal arts college located in Bryn Mawr, a community in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, ten miles west of Philadelphia. The name "Bryn Mawr" means "big hill" in Welsh....
. Working for the Linguistic Survey of Scotland in 1963, there was little expectation at the time of finding Gaelic locally spoken but Dorian found over 200 Gaelic speakers. Her study into the decline of Gaelic in East Sutherland is considered an important and detailed study of language death
In linguistics, language death is a process that affects speech communities where the level of linguistic competence that speakers possess of a given language variety is decreased, eventually resulting in no native and/or fluent speakers of the variety...
She studied young people who could speak Gaelic but didn't speak it often ('semi-speakers') and noted their ability to quickly return to fluency with effort.
She observed the discomfort and hostility shown by some of these speakers, 'Who wanted nothing more than to be inconspicuous'.
- "The Gaelic-speaking East Sutherland fisherfolk have in one sense already been proven 'wrong', in that some of the youngest members of their own kin circles have begun to berate them for choosing not to transmit the ancestral language and so allowing it to die." ( Language Death, David Crystal
David Crystal OBE FLSW FBA is a linguist, academic and author.-Background and career:Crystal was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. He grew up in Holyhead, North Wales, and Liverpool, England where he attended St Mary's College from 1951....
, p106 )
- East Sutherland Gaelic: The Dialect of the Brora, Golspie, and Embo Fishing Communities, 1978, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies Dublin, Ireland was established in 1940 by the Taoiseach of the time, Éamon de Valera under the . The Institute consists of 3 schools: The , the and the . The directors of these schools are currently Professor Werner Nahm, Professor Luke Drury and...
- Language Death: The Life Cycle of a Scottish Gaelic Dialect, 1981, University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...
- Tyranny of Tide: An Oral History of the East Sutherland Fisherfolk , 1984, Karoma Pub
- Investigating Obsolescence: Studies in Language Contraction and Death ( Editor ), 1992, Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...