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Title: Gaelic dialect of Colonsay
Author: Scouller, Alastair MacNeill
ISNI:       0000 0000 3778 6378
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis provides a description of the Scottish Gaelic dialect spoken on the Inner Hebridean island of Colonsay. This dialect has not previously been the subject of any serious academic research. Gaelic was the dominant language on Colonsay until the 1970s, but the local dialect is now in terminal decline, with only a handful of fluent speakers still living on the island. The study focusses mainly on the phonology of the dialect, but other aspects such as morphology, syntax and lexis are also covered. Following a brief introduction, Chapter 1 seeks to situate the dialect in its wider geographical, historical and sociolinguistic context, highlighting the major changes that have taken place in the past forty years, and have led to its present endangered situation. Chapter 2, which comprises approximately half the thesis, examines the phonological structure of the dialect in detail, based on the results of the Survey of the Gaelic Dialects of Scotland (SGDS). Issues of phonetic and phonemic transcription are discussed. The phonemes identified are then listed, with their respective allophones and non-allophonic variants. Chapter 3 deals with prosodic and other non-segmental features which are of significance for the phonology of the dialect. Chapter 4 highlights those aspects of morphology and syntax where Colonsay usage differs from other varieties of Gaelic. Chapter 5 discusses lexical features which are particular to this dialect, or shared with neighbouring dialects in Argyll. An annotated Glossary lists words which are of particular interest in the study of this dialect, some of which are discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. This thesis will provide future students of Gaelic dialectology with an account of the Colonsay dialect, to complement the numerous monographs that have been written about other varieties of Gaelic. Because of the precarious position of this dialect, the timing of this study is critical: it represents the last opportunity to 'preserve by record' a distinctive variety of Gaelic which, sadly, is on the verge of extinction.
Supervisor: McLeod, Wilson ; Lamb, William Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Scottish Gaelic dialect ; Colonsay ; phonological structure ; phonemes