Staff profiles

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Conchúr Ó Giollagáin

Director of the UHI Language Sciences Institute

email - cog.smo@uhi.ac.uk

Gaelic Research Professor in the University of the Highlands and Islands and the director of the UHI Language Sciences Institute. He is also the academic director of Soillse, a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research project, based at Scotland’s national college for Gàidhlig, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on the Isle of Skye. In 2015 he was appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Conchúr Ó Giollagáin is a prominent scholar in language planning and minority language culture and sociology. He has written extensively on issues concerning the sustainability of minority cultures, especially the Gaeltacht communities in Ireland.  View Prof Ó Giollagáin's full research profile here.

Conchúr previously lectured in the School of Political Science and Sociology in the National University of Ireland Galway on the sociology of language. His teaching and research interests include language planning, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. Previously, he was the Head of the Language Planning Unit in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, where he devised and lead Ireland’s first MA programme in Language Planning. He also contributed to the development of the Acadamh’s MA in Language Sciences.

He co-authored the government-commissioned Gaeltacht survey Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht (2007). The update of the study Nuashonrú ar an Staidéar Cuimsitheach Teangeolaíoch ar Úsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht: 2006–2011 (An Update of the Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the Use of Irish in the Gaeltacht) was published in 2015. Along with Tamás Péterváry, Brian Ó Curnáin and Jerome Sheahan he published the first major study of bilingual acquisition in Ireland, Iniúchadh ar an gCumas Dátheangach: An sealbhú teanga i measc ghlúin óg na Gaeltachta / Assessment of Bilingual Competence: Language acquisition among people in the Gaeltacht. He co-edited two ground-breaking books, Beartas Úr na nGael: Dálaí na Gaeilge san Iar-Nua-Aoiseachas [A New Deal for the Gaels: Irish in Postmodernity] (2016) and An Chonair Chaoch: an Mionteangachas sa Dátheangachas (2012) examining the minority language condition from the perspective of those whose primary identity is the minority culture.

He has contributed as an external fellow to the work of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, where he led a variety of research projects examining different aspects of the language dynamics and linguistic anthropology of minority language culture. He is currently leading the major sociolinguistic research project, ‘Pròiseact Rannsachaidh Gàidhlig nan Eilean / Isles Gaelic Research Project’, on the vitality of Scottish Gaelic in the Western Isles, which is home to the remaining native-speaking Gaelic communities. Similar to the Comprehensive Linguistic Study in Ireland, this baseline study aims to depict the social reality of Gaelic as an initial step in proposing a series of socio-political interventions in support of Gaelic as a living language. He is a regular contributor to various media outlets on issues related to linguistic diversity and minority language groups.


Iain Caimbeul

Research Fellow in Sociolinguistics

email - iain.caimbeul@uhi.ac.uk 

Iain has particular expertise in regional economics, community development and has expert knowledge in the development of language plans and initiatives associated with the maintenance and revitalisation of Gaelic within Scotland. He has produced a number of consultancy reports on Gaelic language development issues (see www.hecla.scot). 

Iain has Masters Degrees in Economic Management & Policy; Business Administration; Extension for Rural Development; and a BSc. (Distinction) in Rural Resources. 

He has occupied various senior roles in the Gaelic development sector over many years and is well known to policy makers and members of the community.    Previously, he has held Board Memberships at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, MG ALBA, Comunn na Gàidhlig and the BBC Trust Audience Council for Scotland.

Iain is currently contributing to the major sociolinguistic research project, ‘Pròiseact Rannsachaidh Gàidhlig nan Eilean / Isles Gaelic Research Project’, on the vitality of Scottish Gaelic in the Western Isles.