‘Let’s Do Our Best for the Ancient Tongue’

The Welsh Language in the Twentieth Century

Author(s): Geraint H. Jenkins Mari A. Williams

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh Interest

Series: Social History of the Welsh Language

  • February 2015 · 675pages · 230x160mm

  • ·Paperback - 9781783161782

About The Book

This is an authoritative and thorough analysis of the fortunes of the Welsh language in the most tumultuous period of its history. Twenty-one chapters discuss not only the numerical and territorial decline of Welsh but also its struggle for official recognition and its role in a wide variety of social domains. Of all the memorable phrases coined in the twentieth century, none has had greater resonance for the Welsh speaker than ‘Tynged yr Iaith’ (The Fate of the Language), and this volume provides a stimulating commentary on the processes of linguistic change, decay and revival experienced by the oldest spoken language in Britain. The fruit of the second major research project of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies of the University of Wales, this volume will interest and intrigue the general public as well as specialists in the field and help readers to familiarize themselves with the history of a language which, over the centuries, has been an integral part of the everyday life of the Welsh people and their sense of nationhood.


1. The Fortunes of the Welsh Language 1900-200: Introduction
Geraint H. Jenkins and Mari A. Williams
2. The Welsh Language and the Geographical Imagination 1918-1950
Prys Gruffudd
3. Women and the Welsh Language in the Industrial Valleys of South Wales 1914-1945
Mari A. Williams
4. The Welsh Language Movement in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: An Exercise in Quiet Revolutions
Marion Löffler
5. The Legal Status of the Welsh Language in the Twentieth Century
Gwilym Prys Davies
6. The Attitude of Political Parties towards the Welsh Language
J. Graham Jones
7. Journalism and the Welsh Language
Robert Smith
8. Broadcasting and the Welsh Language
Robert Smith
9. The British State and Welsh-Language Education 1914-1991
W. Gareth Evans
10. The Welsh Language and Religion
D. Densil Morgan
11. Welsh Literature sine 1914
R. Gerallt Jones
12. The Riches of the Past? Recording Welsh Dialects
Beth Thomas
13. The War of the Tongues: Early Anglo-Welsh Responses to Welsh Literary Culture
John Harris
14. The History of the Welsh Language Society 1962-1998
Dylan Phillips
15. The Welsh Language Movement and Bilingualism: What can Local Organizations Achieve?
Marion Löffler
16. We’ll Keep a Welcome? The Effects of Tourism on the Welsh Language
Dylan Phillips
17. The Welsh Language and Agricultural Communities in the Twentieth Century
Gareth Hughes, Peter Midmore and Anne-Marie Sherwood
18. The Welsh Language and Local Authority Planning in Gwynedd 1974-1995
Delyth Morris
19. The Other Celtic Languages in the Twentieth Century
Glanville Price
20. Lesser-used Languages and Linguistic: Minorities in Europe since 1918: An Overview
Robin Okey
21. Restoring the Language
Colin H. Williams

About the Author(s)

Geraint H. Jenkins

Professor Geraint H Jenkins, Professor Emeritus, University of Wales, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies.

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Mari A. Williams

Mari A. Williams was formerly a Research Fellow and Project Leader at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth. She currently works as a translator.

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