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 (MSt) in Celtic 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, and in spring 2022 I will be undertaking a Fulbright scholarship at Harvard University.


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MA PhD (Edin)

MSt (Oxf)

Undergraduate teaching

Introduction to Gaelic Language and Culure

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

Celtic Civilisation 1A & 1B

Areas of interest for supervision

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

2021-22 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)