Gaelic + Linguistics, Together At Last

Welcome to the blog! 

Finally, a place where my two loves, Gaelic and Linguistics, can come together and live somewhat contentedly ever after. 

This is where I’ll ramble on about Gaelic as I’m learning – but wait, don’t run away!  It’s not going to be all “Dear Diary, Now I can Count to One Hundred in Gaelic!” or “I learned a new participle today!” — not at all!  Instead I’ll post about interesting connections between Gaelic and linguistics, and about neat stuff I discover about Gaelic in general.  Here are some topics that are bound to come up soon:

  • Language and (Gaelic) Culture
  • Gaelic vs. The World
  • “Death” and Decline in (Gaelic) Language
  • Language and (Gaelic) Identity
  • Attitudes About Gaelic
  • Why Linguists Can’t Count
  • The Value of Language
  • Teaching Methods vs. Learning Methods
  • and more!

It will all be very interesting!

I’ll be talking about most of the “big” concepts (like culture, identity, value, etc.) from the perspective of Gaelic, but those concepts (and a lot of other linguistic concepts) are pretty much universal to just about all languages, so they are not necessarily unique only to Gaelic in Nova Scotia.

Also, most of what I say has been said before, by many others, so it’s not exactly new, original ideas that I’ll be posting.  I’ll pretty much just be collecting my thoughts all in one place, and most of this is going to be stuff I’ve learned along the way from school or books or people.  So what I’m saying is, maybe don’t go thinking I’m so smart to have figured all this out on my own? 

I wish I did have the amazing talent, patience, and superpowers to attribute every claim I make back to the original genius who figured it out in the first place, but sadly that just isn’t going to happen, at least not yet.  Maybe one day, with the help of several trained monkeys, I’ll make it all nice and thorough, but for now I’m just going to go with it as is. 

Besides, the thing about being an academic is that you can start with a thought, and that thought turns into a question, and then you wonder about the answer, so you start with a quick search, find the reference you were looking for, read a couple of paragraphs, which turns into reading a couple of articles, and pretty soon you’ve spent an entire weekend looking at all sorts of interesting related things and you realize you still don’t know enough to really be able to answer your question to your own satisfaction, and of course more questions have come up since then anyway, but really, you think to yourself, it wouldn’t take that much work to do a little more digging, ask around, maybe set up an experiment or two, collect some data, it’ll be a fun little “side project”, and several years later you are wondering if you will ever graduate and that person you were talking to at that social gathering is really wishing they had made some generic comment about the weather instead of asking you about your work.

So, perhaps you will forgive me at this point for not being as thoroughly researched and referenced as I would ideally like to be?  Thank you, you’re very kind.

That being said, you are most welcome to provide feedback, point out errors, suggest corrections, or send me information about things that could or should be referenced somewhere on the site. All I ask is that you try to do it nicely.

Enjoy reading, and thanks for stopping by!

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Filed under About, Gaelic, Linguistics

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