The Welsh Language: A History

Posted on 10 March 2014
Welsh Language

J. R. R. Tolkien described Welsh as the ‘senior language of the men of Britain’, though the existence of the Welsh-language can come as a surprise to those who assume that English is the foundation language of Britain.

With a full assessment of the implications of the linguistic statistics produced by the 2011 Census, this new edition of The Welsh Language: A History by Janet Davies, published this month by the University of Wales Press, offers a broad historical survey of Welsh-language culture from sixth-century heroic poetry to television and pop culture in the early twenty-first century.

Visitors from outside Wales may be intrigued by the existence of Welsh and this book explores how a language which has, for at least fifteen hundred years, been the closest neighbour of English, enjoys such vibrancy, bearing in mind that English has obliterated languages thousands of miles from the coasts of England.

In this volume, the public status of the language is considered and the role of Welsh is compared with the roles of other of the non-state languages of Europe. Containing maps and plans showing the demographic and geographic spread of Welsh over the ages, charts examine the links between words in Welsh and those in other Indo-European languages, and illustrations of key publications and figures in the history of the language.

It concludes with brief guides to the pronunciation, the dialects and the grammar of Welsh.

Janet Davies was born in Crickhowell and brought up in Brynmawr. She gained a BA in History at Swansea, and an MA on the Political History of Glamorgan at Aberystwyth.

The Welsh Language: A History (March 2014, University of Wales Press)
by Janet Davies
£9.99 • PB • 9781783160198 129mm x 198mm192pages

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