Dr Stuart Dunmore


I received my undergraduate MA (Hons) degree in Celtic and Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh in 2008, before graduating from the University of Oxford with a Master’s degree (MSt) in 2010. My PhD, which was funded by the inter-university research network Soillse, examined long-term outcomes of Gaelic-medium education in Scotland. My current research interests are in the sociolinguistics of minority language use, language ideology, and the sociology of the Celtic languages.

After completing my doctorate in 2014 I was employed at the University of Glasgow as part of a team researching language proficiency among new speakers, then as Soillse Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. In 2016 I was awarded a three-year postdoctoral fellowship  by the British Academy to investigate new speaker practices and ideologies in Scotland and Nova Scotia, Canada. After completing this fellowship in 2019 I was appointed to my current teaching role. I have held additional research positions at the University of Glasgow, University of Sussex and Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) and in spring 2022 I was Fulbright-RSE scholar at Harvard University.


MA PhD (Edin)

MSt (Oxf)

Undergraduate teaching

Introduction to Gaelic Language and Culture

Linguistics and the Gaelic Language (Pragmatics, Second Language Acquisition, Bilingualism)

Celtic Civilisation 1A & 1B

Postgraduate teaching

I currently supervise Masters students completing postgraduate degrees in Language Education, Intercultural Communication and TESOL at Moray House School of Education, and I have previously supervised postgraduate students on the MSc Applied Linguistics degree in Linguistics and English Language.

Research summary

Sociolinguistics, Bilingual education, Bilingualism, Celtic language maintenance, Language policy and planning

Current research interests

I am interested in the sociolinguistics of Celtic languages in Britain, Ireland and among diasporas. My British Academy fellowship (2016-19) assessed the role of 'new' speakers in Gaelic revitalisation initiatives in two divergent contexts. Gaelic is a minority language, spoken by just over 1% of the total population of Scotland, with another small community of speakers in Canada. New speakers in these contexts have acquired Gaelic as an additional language outside of the home and make frequent use of it in their daily lives. Whilst attitudes to Gaelic have been examined in quantitative surveys, the relationship between bilingual individuals’ attitudinal perceptions of their languages and their actual linguistic practices remains an understudied area of sociolinguistic analysis. Through a combination of mixed methods, my project built on work I have previously conducted to investigate the nature of that relationship among new speakers in both Scotland and Nova Scotia.

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

Examining language use, identities and ideologies among new Gaelic speakers in Scotland, New England and Nova Scotia through bibliographic, semi-structured interviews, participant observation and statistical analysis.

Current project grants

2022 Fulbright-Royal Society of Edinburgh Scholar Award ($15,000) Harvard University, Cambridge MA

Past project grants

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship 2016-19 'Linguistic practice and ideology among new speakers of Gaelic in Scotland and Nova Scotia, Canada' (£255,000)

Erasmus+ Mobility Grant 2019, Visiting Fellow, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III)

View all 25 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker

29th April 2022 Graduate Center, City University of New York, Sociolinguistics Seminars: “Indexing heritage, iconizing language: Linguistic ideology in discourses of Gaelic acquisition in Nova Scotia and New England”

29th April 2021 Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, 2021 Irish Studies Seminar.

28th April 2021 Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, Netherlands, Language Policy and Practices Seminar.

17th March 2021 Space, Place and Belonging Seminar, University of Liverpool.

28th September 2020 Mercator Research Centre Seminar, Ljouwert, Netherlands.

6th November 2019 Bristol Centre for Linguistics Seminar, UWE Bristol.

28th April 2019 Language, Ideology and Power Seminars, Lancaster University.

20th March 2019 Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Seminars, University of the Highlands and Islands. ‘Dualchas is dearbh-aithne nan Gàidheal’ [Gaelic Heritage and Identity]

27th Februay 2019 Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. Graduate Seminar: ‘Language and ideology in Scotland’.

17th November 2018 Celtic Sociolinguistics Symposium Plenary Lecture, NUI Galway, Ireland.

15th August 2018 Atlantic Canada Communities Series, St Mary’s University/Chestico Museum, Port Hood NS, Canada.

22nd September 2017 Linguistics in Progress Series, St Mary’s University, Halifax NS, Canada.


"Approaches to Migration, Language and Identity 2021", University of Sussex, Brighton, 9-11 June 2021

"Speaking Citizens Project Conference: The Uses of Oracy", University of Sussex, Brighton, 24-26 January 2022