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Egilea: William Lamb

Scottish Gaelic speech and writing : register variation in an endangered language

This is the first in-depth, quantitative study of register variation in Scottish Gaelic, an endangered Celtic language. Previous work on the subject has been mainly anecdotal in nature or a by-product of other lines of investigation. The study confirms that it is impossible to uncover the characteristics of any register in Gaelic fully without benchmark data on the language's overall register range and morpho-syntactic variation, now provided by the present ground-breaking study. The book shows robust differences between most of register types in Scottish Gaelic. It also shows major contrasts between narrative and non-narrative registers, reportage and non-reportage registers, and formal writing and other register types. It identifies five underlying contextual parameters to be responsible for the variation between registers in Scottish Gaelic: production constraints, discourse freedom, information orientation, interaction, and producer characteristics. Overall, the book s results correlate well with those of current leading, most influential models of register and text-type variation. The book demonstrates that Scottish Gaelic, despite being an endangered language, has a level of register variation comparable to that found in larger languages such as English, with whom the patterns of common variation are universal.