Making Sense of Language Shift in 19th Century Scotland: Politics, Education and Migration
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This master`s thesis uses the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act as a focal point to discuss the role of direct political actions in language shift in Scotland. Scholars have not discussed the influence of political actions in relation to language shift, and to fulfil this gap, I have mixed the historical and the linguistic approach. Studying the Act as a cause of language shift enables insight into central influences, and the result shows that direct political actions is one factor that influenced language shift in the Highlands, but not the chief one. The indirect political factors educational institutions and migrations played a more important role. Creating the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act with the aim to repress Gaelic seems not to have been the focus by the British politicians, even though repression of Gaelic in the Highland culture is evident in earlier government policies.