The challenges and risks inherent in Welsh language revitalization and the Cymraeg 2050 Strategic Plan

Mackie, Marie-Anne (2018) The challenges and risks inherent in Welsh language revitalization and the Cymraeg 2050 Strategic Plan. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

The new Welsh Language Strategy, Cymraeg 2050 makes dramatic demands upon the resources, infrastructure and policies of Welsh language planning. To bring about the desired increase in Welsh speaker numbers there will need to be a complete rethink of Welsh language policy, and the challenges faced are considerable. This thesis explores these challenges, considering the two essential pillars of language revitalization, acquisition and retention of speakers, both child and adult. Overarching themes such as evidence, measurement, resources and leadership are considered, as are the specific challenges relating to the different facets of language revitalization. The family is the traditional cornerstone of Welsh language transmission. However it is clear that the family unit no longer provides the numbers of Welsh speakers required if the language is to thrive. Consideration is, therefore, also given to the education system, both statutory education for children, and language learning for adults. To succeed in its stated aims, Cymraeg 2050 must result not only in an increased rate of Welsh speaker acquisition, but also an improved rate of retention rate of speakers. The traditional strongholds of the Welsh language are shrinking, with in-migration reducing Welsh speaker numbers in percentage terms, and out-migration reducing them in absolute terms. Retention is considered not only in terms of quantity of speakers, but also quality of language. It is probable that poor language quality, with an associated loss of prestige, will jeopardize the relationship between identity and language, so important to Welsh language maintenance. There is an inherent tension between a focus on quantity, and a focus on quality. This raises the question whether the focus on a large number of speakers is not actively detrimental to the future of the Welsh language, which might be better served by more fluency, and strengthening the core areas of Welsh community use.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welsh language strategy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2021 09:31
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 09:31
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1681

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