Iosad, Pavel. 2022. After the Vikings: Language shift in Scotland and the Irish Sea world. In Christian Cooijmans (ed.), Islands of place and space: A Festschift in honour of Arne Kruse, 208–223. Edinburgh: Scottish Society for Northern Studies.

Categories:  Papers Language contact Gaelic North Germanic

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What was the sociolinguistic situation in the North Atlantic in the Viking Age and its aftermath? In the near-total absence of reliable, contemporary historical sources, enquiry into language maintenance and shift in the Northern Isles, the Hebrides, and the Irish Sea basin is a fascinating, multidisciplinary enterprise, to which Arne Kruse has made very significant contributions. In this chapter, I consider how the Western Norse vernacular of the Scandinavian settlers in much of this region was ultimately replaced by the Gaelic languages. My perspective is grounded in historical sociolinguistics: I interrogate what interplay between the sociohistorical context and specific types of contact-induced change could be expected in this region in the medieval period, and try to match these predictions against what is known about Norse-Gaelic contact.

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About me

I’m Pavel Iosad, and I’m a Senior Lecturer in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. ¶ You can always go to the start page to learn more.



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