The New Speakers Blog

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Bernie O’Rourke is Professor in Spanish and Linguistics at Heriot-Watt University. Her research focuses on the role of language in the construction of social difference and social inequality. Drawing on theoretical frameworks and concepts in sociolinguistics and the sociology of language, she examines these processes as they unfold in minority language contexts with a particular focus on the Irish and Galician cases. She is Chair of the COST Action New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges.

Sara Brennan is a PhD student at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, working under the supervision of Bernie O'Rourke and Mike Danson. Focusing on processes related to the commodification of language, her research investigates the promotion of Irish as an economic resource for businesses located outside the Gaeltacht in contemporary Ireland. Sara is also the Grant Holder Administrator of the COST New Speakers Network.

Anik Nandi (India) is a final year PhD student at the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies (LINCS) of Heriot-Watt University (UK). He is also external research fellow at the Instituto da Lingua Galega (Spain) and in the UNESCO Chair on World Language Heritage at University of Basque Country (Spain). His research centres on Language Policy and Planning, language revitalisation strategies, minority issues, and Galician studies.

Nicola Bermingham is a PhD student in the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, migration studies, and minority languages. Looking specifically at the Galician context, her work examines the role language has to play in the integration of immigrants.

Michael Hornsby works in the Department of Celtic languages and literatures in the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His PhD (University of Southampton, 2009) examined the concept of new speakers of Breton and since then he has worked on comparative studies of new speakers of other minority languages, such as Yiddish and Lemko.

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