Issue 36

‘One of the most glorious failures’ of linguistic purism? An analysis of the contemporary lexical patterns of Patagonian Welsh in historical context

The aim of this article is to analyse an under-researched aspect of Patagonian
Welsh, namely its current lexical patterns. Based on data obtained from 134 questionnaires, it will be shown that the lexical variation that exists in this variety of Welsh is conditioned to a considerable degree by the variety of linguistic backgrounds found today among Chubut Province’s Welsh speakers. The results therefore not only show how historical dialect contact has played a crucial role in the evolution of traditional Patagonian Welsh, but also explore for the first time the extent to which a specific educational programme, namely the British Council’s ‘Welsh Language Project’, is influencing Welsh learners’ use of lexical features
in the region. Another objective is to consider some of the results’ wider implications, including the relevance of language ideologies to the historical and contemporary lexical patterns of Patagonian Welsh.


Dialect, the Welsh language, lexical variation, Welsh Patagonia, dialect contact, language ideologies, Welsh nationalism, decolonizing standard languages, heritage languages, language pedagogy.


Rees, I. W. (2024), '“Un o fethiannau godidocaf” puryddiaeth ieithyddol? Dadansoddiad o batrymau geirfaol Cymraeg y Wladfa heddiw mewn cyd-destun hanesyddol', Gwerddon, 36, 87–117.

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