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Subject: Re: Declining population
From: Tom McClive <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Wed, 14 Jun 1995 15:42:14 -0400
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On Tue, 13 Jun 1995, Slaine MacCholuim. wrote:
 
>  There are by my approximations 15 milion Celts in Europe (excluding
> Galicia) and about 2 million native-fluent speakers of Celtic languages,
> chiefly Breton, Irish and Welsh. No figures were available for Manx and
> Cornish revival speakers!
 
i promise i don't mean to be picky, but i was just wondering where you
got your number-of-speakers info.  the last census in wales (1991) showed
510,920 speakers, declining slightly.  most figures i've seen for scots
gaelic show around 80,000 and holding steady.  most people say about 100,000
for breton, and dropping rapidly.  for irish i've seen claims of a
million (impossible) down to 80,000 (perhaps).  i would tend to believe
the lower numbers.  i'm refering to native speakers, of course.  for
cornish, i've heard that there are about 300 people who are self-taught
enough to converse.  i've also heard rumours of teaching children the
language in cornwall.  does anyone else have any comments on any of these
numbers?
 
 
>  Individually the Celtic nations bar Eire are too small to survive...
 
this could lead to an interesting discussion.  i know some people in
plaid cymru who would disagree.  and do you really think alba could not
survive solo?
 
 
>  Secondly, on a purely personal and nationalsistic note can anyone tell
> me why the Cornish language in its modern form is abused so much by
> academics, like all modern languages that have standards it is to a
> degree synthetic..cf.Modern Hebrew, Afrikaans or even the maelstrom of
> language in Norway-Riksmal,Landsmal,Bokmal and Nynorsk!
>  Is it that they in their comfortable London/Oxford/Cambridge studies
> don't like to see a people rising!
 
i don't understand.  the modern cornish users had to do some corpus
planning, yes, but what do you mean by "abused"?  i understood that the
modern form is based on old usage and literary standards anyway.  perhaps
someone who knows more about modern cornish could comment on this.
 
        tom mcclive
        [log in to unmask]

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