Implementing Cornish in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly: Attitudes by the population


  • Siarl Ferdinand University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Llanbedr-Pont-Steffan/Lampeter, Wales


The implementation of Cornish as a community language in Cornwall has become more evident, especially during the last two decades. However, since Cornish speakers constitute not much more than one percent of the total population, it is important to take into account not only their position but also the attitudes of the non-Cornish speakers in order to achieve some success. The literature about attitudes towards the implementation of Cornish is very scarce. SGRÙD Research provided some details about the use of Cornish amongst the speakers in 2000. PFA Research (2007) described general apathy and rather weak opposition to the implementation of Cornish while the Cornish Language Partnership (2013b) presented some positive data amongst the employees of Cornwall Council. The present study, based on the answers of 367 individuals to a questionnaire, provides a more detailed and updated vision on the people’s views. It describes a very different panorama from those outlined previously, with attitudes radically opposed between Cornish and non-Cornish nationals. It is expected that these results may serve to implement a more people friendly language policy which may benefit Cornish and its speakers without encouraging opposition from the rest of the population.