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18 Telling the Monolinguals from the Bilinguals: Unrealistic Code Choices in Direct Quotations within Scottish Gaelic Narratives (1997)

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Chapter Summary

In the latter half of the twentieth century the sole remaining bilingual population in East Sutherland, on the far northeast coast of mainland Scotland, consisted of former fisherfolk and their descendants in the villages of Brora, Golspie, and Embo. Gaelic-English bilingualism was nearing its end in this region, since no young people were acquiring Gaelic, and productive skills in Gaelic were restricted to the upper portion of the age spectrum. This chapter proposes one aspect of narrative style displayed by some high proficiency speakers of East Sutherland Gaelic, namely the use of direct quotation in story telling, and code choice in direct quotation. Each bilingual has certain conversation partners with whom she or he normally speaks the ancestral language and others with whom English is the norm. Among less than fully proficient younger bilinguals, Gaelic is used with certain kinfolk, typically a select few from the first- or second-ascending generation.

Keywords: code choice; direct quotation; East Sutherland; fisherfolk; Gaelic-English bilingualism; monolinguals; narrative style

10.1163/9789004261938_020
/content/books/b9789004261938_020
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