The standardisation of Scottish Gaelic orthography 1750-2007: a corpus approach

Ross, Susan (2016) The standardisation of Scottish Gaelic orthography 1750-2007: a corpus approach. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis investigates the standardisation of Modern Scottish Gaelic orthography from the mid-eighteenth century to the twenty-first. It presents the results of the first corpus-based analysis of Modern Scottish Gaelic orthographic development combined with an analytic approach that places orthographic choices in their sociolinguistic context.
The theoretical framework behind the analysis centres on discussion of how the language ideologies of the phonographic ideal, historicism, autonomy, vernacularism and the ideology of the standard itself have shaped orthographic conventions and debates. It argues that current spelling norms reflect an orthography that is the result of compromise, historical factors and pragmatic function.
The research uses a digital corpus to examine how three particular features have been used over time: the dialect variation between <eu> and <ia>; variation in s + stop consonant clusters (sd/st, sg/sc, sb/sp); and the use of the grave and acute accents. Evidence is drawn from the Corpas na Gàidhlig electronic corpus created at the University of Glasgow: the sub-corpus used in this study includes 117 published texts representing a period of over 250 years from 1750 to 2007, and a total size of over four and a quarter million words. The results confirm a key period of reform between 1750 and the early nineteenth century, and thereafter a settled norm being established in the early nineteenth century. Since then, some variation has been acceptable although changes and reform of some features have centred on increasing uniformity and regularisation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Scottish Gaelic, Orthography, Corpus linguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1501 Scottish Gaelic Language
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Supervisor's Name: Ó Maolalaigh, Professor Roibeard
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Dr Susan Ross
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7403
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2016 12:39
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2016 08:32

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