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Speaking Our Language, 2018

Much work lately has been done on the prominence of learner Gaelic speakers within Gaelic speaking communities, and there has been little research into the current generation of young native speakers, particularly how their speech might differ from previous generations. This presentation will be detailing a small phonetic survey I am conducting for my dissertation concerning native Gaelic speakers between the ages of 18-31. In the dissertation I am contrasting the reported word-forms of a small number of different speakers from Lewis who are all native speakers of Gaelic living and working in Stornoway, and will be using the results of the Survey of Gaelic Dialects of Scotland to provide a diachronic basis of comparison between my participants and their phonetic distance from speakers in the 1950s. My participants range from a speaker who had Gaelic in the home but went through English medium education for Gaelic to a speaker who was immersed totally in Gaelic from a young age with frequent exposure to speakers with older forms of Gaelic, so I will be discussing the influences of various types of native Gaelic backgrounds within the dialect-area of Lewis and the complexities of being a fluent, native speaker in the context of Gaelic.