D/G l (1993), 28-46 Robert Penhallurick We have Welsh, of course, in Wales. The most robust of the surviving Celtic languages. Spoken by almost 20% of the population, that is, just over 500,000 people (according to the 1981 Census). The majority language in most of the north and west. Welsh has suffered adverse discrimination for most of the last 150 years. In fact, the Act(s) of 'Union' of 1536-1543 mark the instigation of an overt crusade by the English state to eradicate the Welsh language. English was made the only official language in Wales, no Welsh speaker was to be allowed any kind of official position, and the English law declared its intention "utterly to extirpate alle and singular the sinister usages and customes" of the Welsh. Gwyn A. Williams (1985: 121): "a largely monoglot people were made aliens in their own lawcourts and cultivated a corresponding alienation. Welsh ... had to retreat into the kitchen. Since this happened at a critical moment in the inner history of the culture, its long-term effects were to be very serious." The crusade is punctuated by events which became branded onto the national memory. The Education Report of 1847 made known
Dialectologia et Geolinguistica – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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