lochabar

  I know I’ve seen this house before but I can’t remember if I actually posted it, not that it matters because AAAAAAAAAAAA can you even imagine the view from the back garden?? It boggles the brain and muddles the mind and stupefies the senses. This is in the village of Glencoe, Scotland; near Glen Coe,a glen (valley) in the Lochaber area of the Highlands. (etienn241 flickr)

simplelovemelody  asked:

Hello, I was wondering if you had any insight and/or resources on the major differences between Canadian Gàidhlig and the Gàidling spoken in Scotland. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day. :)

resources: not really honestly. Emily McEwan-Fujita has two blog posts about the differences between Gaels in Nova Scotia and Scotland (part 1, part 2), but they’re primarily about cultural differences rather than linguistic ones, and the Wikipedia article on Canadian Gaelic has a section on linguistic features, but not much detail.

in point of fact there’s no such thing as “Canadian Gaelic” (and realistically when we say this we mean “Nova Scotia Gaelic”) as such. Gaels in Canada tended to settle in communities that all originated in the same places in Scotland, such that you would have found (when Gaelic was stronger in the community in Nova Scotia) communities speaking primarily Barra Gaelic, primarily Lewis Gaelic, primarily Lochabar Gaelic, etc. these days there’s been a certain amount of dialect leveling such that what has emerged is, broadly, a preference for Lochabar forms, but there’s still variation within that, so the result is generally something of a mishmash of dialects, even within individuals’ speech.

insofar as there are specific features of Canadian Gaelic, we might identify the following:

  • some nasalization of vowels before nasal consonants ([ɛ̃ũN] for usual Scottish [auN], southern Hebridean [ɑN] ann, e.g.)
  • some variation in vowels (the above example, e.g.)
  • broad /L/ is increasingly realized as [w] regardless of other dialectal features, especially among learners (so, e.g., làmh [wã:v] or even [wæ̃:v] vs. Scottish [La:v])
  • a preference for de or do + dative over the partitive genitive (cupa de thì, beagan do bhliadhnachan vs. Scottish cupan tì, beagan bhliadhnachan)
  • miscellaneous vocabulary differences (some of which are mentioned in the Wikipedia article); Wikipedia insinuates that there are more English loans in NS Gaelic, but I’m not sure I’m convinced that’s true, or if they’re just different English loans than Gaelic in Scotland.

finally, as Emily McEwan Fujita notes, Nova Scotia speakers generally don’t follow the recommendations of the Gaelic Orthographic Conventions (GOC), preferring a mix of more traditional spellings (the retention of é and ó alongside è and ò, e.g., and some apostrophes in places where GOC recommends against them) and a few phonetic spellings that reflect the spoken language in the province today (NS air a’ là sin vs. GOC air an là sin, e.g.). none of these spelling differences are significant enough to impede comprehension, in my experience, but they’re certainly noticeable; see as an illustration Lodaidh MacFhionghain’s poetry vs., say, Aonghas MacNeacail’s or Meg Bateman’s.