The “CIALL” project for Collaborative Interdisciplinary & Applied Linguistic Links is given a Gaelic name whose set of meanings encapsulates the linguistic focus of this partnership initiative while foregrounding a clear and simple standard by which it should be judged. The common phrase “Tha sin a’ dèanamh ciall” will be the fundamental touchstone – “That makes sense”.
This multi-partner collaborative project is led by the University of the Highlands and Islands. It aims to develop core legacy workstreams from the predecessor inter-university Soillse project, while also taking further initiatives under the university’s Language Sciences Institute wing which articulate closely with participatory Gaelic community needs in an inclusively linked multilingual and international context. The Linguistic focus will be firmly grounded in the operative societal context, with close though by no means exclusive reference to Scottish Gaelic and an emphasis on three complementary themes:
- Collaborative community, international, and multi-institutional support
- Inter-disciplinary cross-fertilisation, extending beyond Linguistic and Celtic Studies to engage with Health Studies, Computer Studies, Media Studies, Economics and Social Sciences
- Applied and action research focus, with a view to creating verifiable community impact.
These themes will have dynamic synergies supporting interactive and multilateral Links between participating academic researchers and lay speaker communities.
In particular the CIALL project will immediately progress further work in:
- Gaelic community recording/ethnography
- Assistive (including learning) technology development for Gaelic and other languages
- Networking of diverse themes of interest between Gaelic and other language communities within Scotland and internationally
- Place-based community involvement and participation in capture and curation of Gaelic and other languages, for local and global dissemination and informing policy innovation.
Overall, CIALL will fulfil an additive collaborative role to enable partners to cooperate on generating collective academic and knowledge exchange outcomes. This new collaboration brings enhanced analytical capabilities and community engagement capacities to bear. It thus strengthens key academic advisory capacity to inform positive strategic and policy innovation among communities, public bodies and governmental agencies addressing the significant societal challenges of the minority-language condition in the 21st Century, including particularly the various community, institutional and social contexts of Gaelic speakers and learners.
The UHI Language Sciences Institute is indebted to the Scottish Funding Council for its support in enabling the establishment of this project. Seven other Scottish universities representing a wide range of disciplinary interests including Media and Journalism Studies, Cultural and Languages Studies, Enterprise Policy, Island Studies, Applied Health Sciences, Computer Science, Law, Business and Creative Studies, in addition to Linguistics and Gaelic Studies, will comprise the project’s Collaboration Advisory Panel. A further seven universities and research institutes from outside Scotland are already affiliated to the project, as it simultaneously builds key community links, both locally and internationally.