Níall Beag wrote:True. You didn't say "native", you said "more native than..." and I didn't catch the rest of it because there was a lot of people talking at the time. I was kind of stunned by that
When did I say that? This is what I said: "I speak it to the same ability as most native speakers I've met with the exception of certain old people"
This is going round in circles. I make no claim to be a native speaker, it's impossible, I was not brought up speaking Gaelic from an early age, therefore it is an impossibility, but I do class myself as a speaker.
Put it this way: am I a learner-driver still, because I didn't drive cars from the age of two, or because I have passed my test and have been driving every day for umpteen years, may I now class myself as a driver? I reckon so. Same with Gaelic. That doesn't mean that I can't learn to sharpen my reflexes, linguistic or motor, but I can without a shadow of a doubt regard myself not as a learner of either, but as a practioner, one way or the other.
Tha mi am beachd gum bu chòir dhuit mo chuideachamh crìoch a chur air a' ghnothach an seo!
But there's a huge difference there: whenever you or me learns something new about English, it is not a "correction" to our English - it's an acceptable variation. The reason I define myself as a learner is that I need to keep open to being wrong, which I never am in English
Now, who's got their ego on!
I don't make corrections to my Gaelic any more either, just acceptable variations. I realised the other day for instance that the full form of fhéin is still occasionally used in Mid-Argyll, despite the fact that 99% of the time it is not (fhé). It is now an acceptable variation.
That's a thorny issue, and I tend to use the term "native non-native" to describe such cases. What they speak is their native language, but it may not be a native model of Gaelic -- non-native Gaelic as a native language. I amn't competent to assess Geri's level, just as I amn't competent to assess Callum MacLean (Ruaraidh's son)'s level. But I wouldn't want to use either as a native informant for a corpus study of native Gaelic, because they're not part of a natural intergenerational transmission -- I cannot trust that anything they do isn't a learner error inherited from their parents
Sorry, I've just clicked on to who you are. Gabh mo leisgeul, a Néill!
Ruairidh speaks Standard Gaelic anyway, very well indeed, but not dialect, so that's irrelevant. Speak to anyone in Ross-shire and they'll tell you Roy's Wester Ross Gaelic was perfect, better than their own in some cases. In these days of evidence too thin on the ground to mention, you would be a hard man not to conduct your study with one eye on the fact, rather then discounting perfectly good informants. I'd be more worried about the influence of Mid-Minch in latter years than anything else.
I have an informant whose parentage was Craignish and Minard but who re-learned Gaelic in later life and it has completely obliterated his dialect forms. An awful loss....
and there's where ego investment and pride surface, which is exactly the reason I don't refer to myself as a speaker
Och give over 'ille, I've every reason to be proud, I've worked like a flamin Trojan to get here!
You already know your Gaelic's better than mine. That doesn't invalidate anything I've said.
I'm not concerned about my Gaelic being better than anyone else's, my only concern is that you are removing the possibility for people to be able to genuinely work towards the goal of classing themselves as a Gaelic speaker. People need incentive and people like Roy and Ruairidh have proven that native-like ability can be achieved in later life. I don't know about you, but while I'm sure they learned something new all the time, those right there are "Gaelic Speakers" my friend!