l-r Dr Stefania Tufi, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Dr Robert Blackwood, Dr Chris Robinson, Michael Hance

Dr Robert Blackwood (French) and Dr Stefania Tufi (Italian) recently discussed strategies for the revitalisation of the Scots language during a visit to the Scottish Parliament. Dr Blackwood and Dr Tufi have contributed to work undertaken by the Scottish National Party on the increased use of Scots since 2008, based on their empirical research on Corsica and Sardinia.

The meeting was convened by the Minister for Education & Skills, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, who has special responsibility for Scots, as well as for Gaelic. In the light of the publication of the Response from the Scottish Government to the Scots Language Working Group Report, Dr Blackwood and Dr Tufi highlighted the parallels between the language revitalisation projects in Scotland, Corsica and Sardinia, drawing on their published analyses of attempts to reverse the language shift. Dr Chris Robinson, Director of the Scottish Language Dictionaries, and Michael Hance, Director of the Scots Language Centre, who both sat on the Ministerial Working Group, also contributed to the discussion, held in the Minister’s office at Holyrood.

At the conclusion of a productive meeting, Dr Blackwood and Dr Tufi agreed to submit a report to the Minister, responding to recommendations in the Scots Language Working Group Report and outlining in particular how the increased visibility of the Scots language in the public space can contribute to language revitalisation, as on Corsica and Sardinia.