Tuesday, December 10, 2019
The skye times mobile

Gaelic speakers, particularly those in the Staffin area, are wanted to assist with a PhD in Gaelic dialects.

Charles Wilson told The Skye Times: "I will be in Skye on the weekend of 15 and 16 September. I am looking for one gentleman and one lady, preferably older, who have not lived away from Staffin, or at least have lived most of 

 their lives in Staffin."

Ideally, the candidates will speak Staffin dialect of Gaelic.

The study will only take 30 minutes, and includes some conversation and some questions about how certain things would be said in Staffin.  It is audio recorded, but all personal information is anonymised.

Charles continued: "Once my PhD is submitted, I am happy to send an info pack to participants and to the Staffin Community Trust. The info pack will include the conclusions of my PhD, and how Staffin helped me with that.  As part of my PhD, I am collecting the traditional dialects of the Hebrides, and comparing them with previous accounts of dialects.  I would like to include the Staffin dialect in this study, so I am reaching out to you, hoping that you will be able to help me find suitable participants.

"I am following the footsteps of previous dialectologists that toured Scotland in the between 1951 and 1963 to document and describe the regional dialects of Gaelic.  Their data is available in the School of Scottish Studies Archives at the University of Edinburgh. 

"During my meetings with speakers, I talk to them about their lives on the island, documenting history and dialect at the same time.

"Then I ask them how they would say certain things naturally, or what they'd hear and what they prefer. If this were in an English context, I may ask, "would you say "if I was" or "if I were"?

"What do you hear people saying? How does "if I were" sound to you?" By the end, I should have a relatively useful dialect bank, though it will be by no means thorough because I'm just one person travelling around in one summer."

 To find out more about Charles and his project, you can click here, email cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07450 462 543.

Above: Charles, second from left, with a family in Ness who helped him with his work.


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