The Promotion of Cornish: Establishing strategies in view of the Basque experience in Trebiñu

Ferdinand, Carles Henrik (2023) The Promotion of Cornish: Establishing strategies in view of the Basque experience in Trebiñu. Doctoral thesis, Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the situation of Cornish and strategies that could be applied in order to restore it as a community language in Cornwall and Scilly. The first step undertaken was to determine the position and usage of Cornish in public and private domains, and speakers and non-speakers’ attitudes towards the promotion of the language. A questionnaire was designed to elicit information from the population of Cornwall and Scilly in relation to key areas. Interviews, observation and consultation of censuses and other studies were also employed to enable a wider perspective on the topic. The results show that the low level of fluency in Cornish, often due to it being considered an identity marker rather than as a communication tool, remains the main factor affecting Cornish speaker attitudes and language use. The study also highlights the division between Cornish nationals, often favourable to the promotion of the language, and non-Cornish, who are generally apathetic or opposed to such promotion. Trebiñu, in Spain, was proposed as a model for language revitalisation. In this region, Basque was totally substituted by Spanish in the late 1700s. However, nowadays, approximately half of the population are Basque speakers. Rather than a comparison of the two cases, an identification of strengths and weaknesses as well as successful strategies employed in Trebiñu were identified in order to adapt them to the Cornish context. In Trebiñu, evidence shows how a community can be influential in recovering and maintaining a language, despite continued lack of support from official institutions. The Cornish speaking community may find a similar approach beneficial in order to make their language not only a living reality but also an actual tool for communication.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cornish, Language revialisation, Minority languages
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Carles Ferdinand
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2023 07:59
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 07:59
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2501

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