Steinnerg, Victoria S.
Davies, Joshua; Hampton, Brian A.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis maintains, “No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different cultures live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached” (Abley 47). Language offers insight into how people within specific cultures view themselves, but to what extent is identity shaped by or in response to the language and culture of the greater society? What does language tell us about the history of its speakers and the development and preservation of their identities throughout its evolution? What is the value of linguistic identity and preservation today? The purpose of this project has been to explore these questions by comparing two of the Celtic languages: Welsh and Breton. In the face of being nearly overcome by the effects of nationalism and colonization within their respective countries, these speakers have fought to maintain the individual cultures expressed through their languages in practice. This paper explores the place of Welsh and Breton in their respective countries. It looks at language’s status in state policy and the role that language and its recognition play in nationalism. It explores the different traditions associated with these two languages in music and orality, in history, in individual and national consciousness, and in the worlds of festival, myth, and modern society. Together, the findings here serve to show the interconnectedness of language, culture, and identity, and, thus, the importance of maintaining them today.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Shields, Elizabeth G., "Language and essence: a comparative study of identity among Celtic language speakers in Wales and Brittany" (2015). Honors Theses.