| > Second of all, no, it is not the case at all that "Gaelic in Scotland
| > had been replaced with Scots". At this time, the majority of the land
| I don't think that the many of Scots, which were planted in
| Ireland spoke Gaelic.
Yes, a great number of them did.
| > mass in Scotland was still Gaelic speaking, and a great number of these
| > Scottish settlers were also Gaelic speaking, and so diffused into the
| > community because of this common language and culture.
| > This misconception about the extent of Gaelic in Scotland, underestimating
| > its size and influence, is quite common, however it is false.
| I do not know the story of the decline of Gaelic, growth and decline of Scots,
| and the growth of English in Scotland. Could someone give me some information
| this with time scales.
The best source of information on this is Charles Wither's "Gaelic in
Scotland", published (as I recall) 1983 by John Deonald.
You can see easily from the map and tables how much Gaelic still covered
Scotland into late times. It wasn't until the Clearances and the complete
Anglicisation of transport and industry in the last century that Gaelic
finally lost any support base to maintain itself.
For example, the Gaelic-line, separating Gaelic-speaking Scotland from
English-related-speaking Scotland as recently as 1879 looks like this:
cutting off the far east tip of Caithness, cutting off the Black Isle,
staying fairly close to the geographical Highland line (so including
much of Perthshire), and going down to swallow Argyll. It looks to my eye
just under half the land mass of Scotland.
If you go further back to 1550, most of Scotland above the Clyde-Firth
line is Gaelic speaking. The exception is a line that goes from east of
Inverness, following the contour of the east coast but staying well east
of the Highland line. There were also packets of Gaelic in Galloway up
until the mid-18th century. It looks to me as though about 2/3 of the
land mass at this time would have been Gaelic speaking. And it was from
these areas that most Ulster colonists came -- right?? (corrections??)
For a few figures: according to approximations, in 1808 (well after many
clearances abroad), some 22.9% of the 1.3 million people of the Scottish
population were _GAELIC_ONLY_ speakers. This doesn't even include bi-linguals.
However, by 1881, the Gaelic-only speakers were down to 6.2%.
It's all a good excerise in how effective cultural genocide through