Institute for the languages of Scotland

A team led by Victor Skretkowicz of the English department has received a grant of 30,000 to carry out a feasibility study into the creation of an Institute for the Languages of Scotland (ILS).

The Institute would serve Scotland's universities and the nation by co-ordinating and disseminating information on research into all the languages of Scotland, past and present.

It will investigate the range of all the languages of Scotland, and map where they are used, or have been used. It will also make contacts with representatives of language groups, including 'signing,' and seek to identify their principal concerns relating to language and cultural consciousness.

National language centres have already been successfully established in countries comparable to Scotland, such as Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Wales and their progress will be evaluated during the Scottish study.

The study is being funded by The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. The team has devised questionnaires to collect information, such as which languages the public thinks should be included in the Institute's activities and where its headquarters should be based.

As part of the questionnaire process, five focus groups are being held - in the Borders, Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee. The Dundee meeting, chaired by Victor, will be held in the conference room in the Wellgate Central Library on 6 June.

If the study should conclude that there is sufficient public support for an ILS, its report would form the basis of further discussions with the Scottish Executive.

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