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The Sociolinguistics of Welsh in Patagonia

Example of written research source

Professor Robert Owen Jones and his research assistant Walter Brooks have been working on two projects funded by The Leverhulme Trust (‘Language Survival? The Welsh Language and Community in Patagonia’ and ‘The Dynamics of a Welsh Language Revival in Chubut’) focusing on the sociolinguistic aspects of the Welsh language (1900-2000) in the Chubut Valley and the Andean region of Patagonia.


The aims of the research included a study of the status of the Welsh language in the Patagonian communities in different decades and its interrelation with other economic, political, cultural, religious and social factors. The growth of Welsh/Spanish bilingualism was analysed as well as the later tendency to avoid transmitting the language from one generation to the other. The factors that caused the erosion in the social prominence of Welsh was identified along with those factors that ensured its survival despite it being a minority language without any status.

Written sources from museums, libraries and private collections were used, while interviews with a cross-section of Welsh speakers were recorded as part of the fieldwork. The results are being published in academic journals and a volume will appear containing the main outcomes of the research.

Publications to date

Walter Ariel Brooks, ‘Polisïau Addysg, Iaith a Hunaniaeth yn Y Wladfa (1900-1946)’, Y Traethodydd (in press).

Brooks, Walter Ariel and Geraldine Lublin, 'The Eisteddfod of Chubut, or how the reinvention of a tradition has contributed to the preservation of a language and culture', in Beyond Philology. International Journal of Linguistics, Literary Studies and English Language Teaching, 4 (2007), 245-59.

Robert Owen Jones, ‘Trai a gobaith… II’, Y Traethodydd, 678 (2006), 148-61.

Walter Ariel Brooks, ‘Algunas consideraciones sobre los patrones de casamiento en el Valle del Chubut (1900-1960)’, in Segundo Foro Internacional Sobre los

Galeses en la Patagonia (Puerto Madryn, 2006), 231-48.

Walter Ariel Brooks and Geraldine Lublin, 'Croesi ffiniau diwylliannol', Taliesin, 25 (2005), 94-6.

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