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The place-names of Lewis

The place-names of Lewis will be the focus of discussion next month when Professor Richard Cox delivers his inaugural lecture for the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Professor Cox will speak to guests in attendance at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and by video conference throughout the university network on the subject of the village names of Lewis and the work of the late Professor Magne Oftedal.

Professor Oftedal collected over 126 names and their pronunciations while on a research scholarship in Lewis, between September and December 1950 and between April and August 1951, during which time he was carrying out fieldwork for his PhD thesis on the Gaelic dialect of Leurbost.

Professor Cox will take a fresh look at this topic, at the structure, meaning and significance of the names, including both the Gaelic and Norse components of this special cultural heritage.

Professor Boyd Roberston, Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig said:’Richard Cox was awarded a professorship by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) in recognition of the quality of his scholarship and research. Place names and the interface between the Norse and Gaelic languages have been major research interests of his over many years and he has written extensively on these topics in publications such as the acclaimed book, The Gaelic Place-names of Carloway.This will be an opportunity for people in the community as well as throughout the UHI network to hear an expert on a subject which interests many of the public and which is often a gateway to the language.’

The lecture will be held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Monday 14th March at 4.30pm.  Anyone interested in attending or participating by video conference at locations in Lewis and throughout the Highlands and Islands should contact Paul Ellison on 01463 279 000.

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