dr hab., prof. UAMMichael Hornsby

Michael Hornsby
University professor



  • B.A. (Hons.) in French and Welsh, 1988
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Upper Primary), 1992
  • M.A. in Irish Studies, 2001
  • Diploma in Humanistic Counselling based on Transactional Analysis, 2006
  • PhD Thesis: Minority languages and processes of globalisation: Linguistic hybridity in Brittany, 2009
  • D. Litt. in linguistics, AMU Poznań, 2016

Research interests

  • Sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, especially the reaction of speech communities to the pressures of globalisation and modernisation
  • Preservation, revitalisation and transformation of minority languages
  • Language ‘authenticity’
  • Relationship between language and national/regional identity

Teaching experience

  • Adjunct in the Celtic Department, Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, 2011-2012
  • Visiting Professor, Koszalin Polytechnic, Poland, 2009-2011
  • West Wight Secondary Middle School, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, UK French co-ordinator and Year 8 tutor, 2001-2008
  • Lockyer’s Middle School, Corfe Mullen, Dorset, UK French co-ordinator and Year 7 tutor, 1994-2001
  • A variety of schools in the Slough and Southampton areas as a general teacher, 1992-1994
  • Lecturer in Welsh and English to undergraduates at Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski, Lublin, Poland, 1988-1991

Other professional experience

  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (H2020) project proposal evaluator ('expert') (2017, 2018)
  • Language Vitality in Social Context workgroup member, October 2016 (Smithsonian Institution and the Grup d'Estudi de Llengues Amençades, Barcelona)
  • International Symposium on Bilingualism scientific board member (2016-2017)
  • Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Sprachen (GBS) (Foundation for Endangered Languages grant holder (2016)
  • Editorial board member of Sociolinguistic Studies (since 2015)
  • Short Term Scientific Missions Coordinator for COST Action IS1306 (2015-2017)
  • COST Action IS1306: "New Speakers in Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges". Management Committee Member
  • FP7 Projekt (EU-financed project): Innovative Networking in Infrastructure for Endangered Languages (INNET, nr 284415), Consultant
  • Dziedzictwo Językowe Rzeczypospolitej. Baza dokumentacji zagrożonych języków (11H1100148) (Heritage Languages of Poland), Project leader on Yiddish language in Poland
  • Guest editor of a special edition of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language (de Gruyter) on Breton, 2013
  • Peer reviewer for the Journal of Multicultural and Multilingual Development, Cambridge University Press, Language, Culture and Curriculum, International Journal of Multilingualism, Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America, Language Documentation and Conservation
  • Erasmus teacher mobility: Department of Celtic, Université de Haute Bretagne, Rennes 2, Brittany, France, February 2011.
  • Research assistant on Fisherspeak project: Lexical attrition in the east coast fishing communities of Scotland. AHRC-funded project (principal investigator: Dr. Robert McColl Millar), May 2008 - Sept 2009
  • Participant on Documenting Endangered Iranian Languages. University of Kiel, Germany. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation’s programme, Dokumentation Bedrohter Sprachen (DoBeS), 20-31 August 2007

Guest lectures

  • Paper: L'authenticité linguistique et le/la bretonnant·e légitime : qui décide et comment ? [Linguistic authenticity and the legitimate Breton speaker: who decides and how?] Bretagne Culture Diversité / Sevenadurioù Breizh, Lorient, Brittany [France]. 18 March 2021 [online]. https://www.bcd.bzh/fr/en-ligne-conference-lauthenticite-linguistique-et...
  • Paper: Tackling language loss – can the new speaker paradigm offer any new insights.  Department of Italian and French, Indiana University, USA, 14 November 2019
  • Invited speaker: Research colloquium on Migration and Minorities, Paper: "The new speaker paradigm - does it have anything "new" to offer minority languages?", Viadrina University, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany, July 2019
  • Invited speaker: Methoden zur Erforschung der Kultur der regionalen Mehrsprachigkeit. New speakers in minority language settings: Which questions and what methodologies? Christian-Albrechs-Universität zu Kiel. September 2018
  • Invited speaker: Global Approaches to Multilingualism and Standardisation. Standardisation, new speakers and the acceptance of (new) standards (with Noel Ó Murchadha (Trinity College Dublin) ). University of Cambridge, UK, May 2018.
  • Invited speaker: Grammar, Cognition and Language Change - Dahlem Lectures in Linguistics. (De)legitimizing minority language group membership: Comment peut-être breton(nant)? Freie Universität, Berlin. June 2018.
  • Plenary: The new speaker paradigm: Challenges and opportunities in language transmission / Le paradigme du nouveau locuteur: défis et opportunités dans la transmission de la langue. Institut Supérieur des languages de la République Française/Kelenn: Colloquium Quimper, France, March 2018.
  • Invited speaker -  Workshop 2: Language revitalisation and the transformation of family life (Revitalise project, University of Edinburgh, Scotland). ‘Creative modes of transmission for Breton in the 21st century’. September 2017.
  • 'History and current status of the Breton language in France', Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany, May 2017
  • 'Teaching Celtic languages to New Speakers: How to sound "authentic". Invited presentation at 'Language documentation, teaching materials and didactics:An opportunity for small and endangered languages?' Mercator/SOAS/CIDLeS, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, December 2016
  • 'Minority Languages and the appearance of new speakers', Department of Basque, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, March 2014
  • 'New Speakers of Minority Languages', Department of Applied Linguistics, Birkbeck College, UCL, UK, May 2013
  • 'Successful Revitalisation of Welsh and Irish'. Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw, Poland, April 2013
  • 'Exploring links between minority language revitalisation and EFL'. Centre for Global Englishes, University of Southampton, UK, January 2013
  • 'Multilingualism in the school systems of the UK', RoMMe Network for Researchers of Multilingualism and Multilingual Education, University of Oslo, Norway, June 2012


  • NCN OPUS 162018/31/B/HS2/00844 - "Rewitalizacja języka bez udziału jego rodzimych użytkowników: Studium języka bretońskiego w Górnej Bretanii oraz języka łużyckiego na Dolnych Łużycach" / Language revitalisation without native speakers: The cases of Breton in Upper Brittany and Sorbian in Lower Lusatia. 05.07.2019-04.07.2022


  • Linglunch Talk, Mercator Institute, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. The unwelcome (?) presence of new speakers in minority language settings. 25 January 2021. [online]
  • International Symposium on Taiwanese Languages and Teaching (ISTLT), National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu City, Taiwan. The contribution of ‘new speakers’ to minority language revitalisation. 17 October 2020 [online]
  • 6th Annual Conference of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft (KWG): B/ordering cultures: everyday life, politics, aesthetics, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. Paper: Accent as a shibboleth for inclusion or exclusion in Breton-speaking communities in Brittany. 8-10 October 2020 [online]
  • Forschungskolloquium Migration und Minderheiten – European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. Paper: Conditions for Self-Legitimisation among New Speakers: New Speaker Communities outside of the Heartlands. 19 June 2020 [online]
  • Simposio internacional: «De neofalante potencial a falante activa dunha lingua minorizada» University of Vigo, Galicia, Spain. Paper: Conditions for self-legitimation among new speakers: new speaker communities outside of the heartlands. 17-18 October 2019
  • Irish Association of Applied Linguistics: NUIG, Ireland. Panel: Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Noel Ó Murchadha, Cassie Smith-Christmas, Michael Hornsby, Sara Brennan & James Costa: Vernacular and postvernacular minority language practices. 26 November 2019
  • 49th Poznań Linguistic Meeting. Paper: The hierarchisation of regional languages in the linguistic landscape of Brittany. September 2019 (with Geoffrey Roger)
  • ICML XVII: 17 International Conference on Minority Languages. Mercator/Fryske Academy, Leeuwarden, NL. Paper: Indexing a local linguistic identity through material culture. May 2019.
  • Language and Borders: Rethinking mobility, migration and space. University of Bristol, UK. Paper: 'New' speakers, 'new' borders: The construction of speaker boundaries in language revitalisation contexts. March 2018.
  • ENGHUM Conference 2017, University of Warsaw. Paper: Marketing the Welsh language in Caernarfon: indexing a local linguistic identity. November 2017.
  • Final Whole Action Conference, New Speaker network (COST IS1306), Coimbra, Portugal. Panel 5 - New Speakers and the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages. Paper: ‘Authentic’ modes of transmission – new speaker acquisition of minority languages. September 2017.
  • Celtic Sociolinguistics Symposium 2, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, October 2016 - Paper: 'Transmission as a metastance. Claims to speaker authority in Brittany'.
  • 2nd Poznań Conference of Celtic Studies, Poznań, Poland, July 2016 - Paper: 'Performing 'new speakerness': Issues of legitimcy and ownership in Celtic languages'
  • Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, University of Murcia, Spain, June 2016 - Panel on 'elite multilingualism, a critical dialogue from a theoretical and empirical standpoint' - Paper: 'Positions and stances in the hierarchisation of Breton speakerhood'.
  • Soillse, Small Language Planning: Communities in crisis, University of Glasgow, Scotland, June 2016 - Paper: 'New speakers and neo-natives: A Breton case study'.
  • New Speakers Network 2nd Whole Action Conference, Hamburg, Germany, May 2016, Paper: 'Intergenerational transmission at all cost? Breton as a linguistic resource'.
  • 45th Poznań Linguistic Meeting, 2015, Paper: 'Transmission of minority languages through the schools' (with Nicole Dołowy-Rybińska).
  • WISERD, Cardiff, Wales, July 2015, Paper: 'Siaradwyr newydd yn y cadarnleoedd' (New speakers in the heartlands) (with Dick Vigers)
  • Celtic Sociolinguistics Symposium 1, Dublin, Ireland, June 2015, Plenary paper: 'How useful is the concept of postvernacularity?'
  • International Conference on Minority Languages (XV), Belgrade, Serbia, May 2015, Paper: 'Transmission of minority languages through the schools' (with Nicole Dołowy-Rybińska)
  • Co-convenor for panel on Ideologies and minority languages, Symposium on New Speakers (COST IS1306), Barcelona, November 2014
  • Endangered Languages: Comprehensive models for research and revitalisation, Wilamowice, Poland, 2014 - Paper:  'Varieties of variation in a very small place' revisited: some considerations from Wilamowice
  • ELE Conference on endangered languages, Minde, Portugal, 2013 - 'Recent developments among 'new' speakers of Lemko'
  • I-Mean Conference on language and identity. UWE Bristol, 2013 - Paper: 'Contested pluralities of Lemko identity'
  • Sociolinguistic Symposium 12, Berlin, Germany, 2012 - Paper 1: Bridging the gap between native and 'new' speakers of minority languages; Paper 2: Documenting Poland's heritage languages: the case of Polish Yiddish
  • Od Języka do Kultury i Sztuki, Krotoszyn, Poland, 2012 - Paper: Revitalisation of minority languages: some educational and sociological issues.
  • Celts in the Americas, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2011 - Paper: Recent changes in the Welsh language: Some lessons for Gaelic in Nova Scotia?
  • Languages in Contact, Wrocław, Poland 2011 - Paper: The use of Yiddish in American comedy
  • 42nd Poznań Linguistic Meeting, Poznań, Poland 2011 - Paper: Colli iaith neu newid iaith?Recent changes in the Welsh language
  • The Ecology of Languages in the Baltic Sea Region: Regional Languages in Times of Globalization at Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany, October 2010 - Paper: To be or not to be (a minority)? The case of Kashubian in Poland (with Tomasz Wicherkiewicz).
  • Sociolinguistic Symposium 18, Southampton 2010 - Paper: 'To be or not to be (a minority)? The case of Kashubian in Poland' (Co-authored with Tomasz Wicherkiewicz).
  • 41st Poznan Linguistic Meeting, Gniezno 2010 - Paper: Lessons from Brittany for the revitalisation of the Liv language.
  • Languages in Contact, Wroclaw, Poland, May 2010 - Paper: Language transformation as a stage of language death? Some examples from Poland and Latvia.
  • New challenges for multilingualism in Europe (LINEE), Dubrovnik, Croatia, April 2010 - Paper: Minority language revitalisation in multilingual contexts: Competing or complementary idealogies?
  • The Small Languages in Multilingual Europe Conference, Voru Intitute, Voru, Estonia, October 2009 - Paper: Revitalisation of the minority languages: tensions between traditional and hybrid varieties.
  • 12th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XII), Tartu, Estonia – Paper: Minority semiotic landscapes: An ideological minefield? (With Dr. Dick Vigers, Southampton), May 2009
  • Société International d’Ethnologie et de Folklore : University of Ulster, (London)Derry – Paper : ‘How ‘authentic’ are revivalist speakers of Celtic languages?’, June 2008
  • International Symposium on Sociolinguistics, Free University of Amsterdam – Paper: ‘The thwarting of the linguistic subordination norm’, April 2008
  • 11th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XI), Pécs, Hungary – Paper: ‘Change and Resistance in Minoritised Linguistic Landscapes’, July 2007
  • ‘21st Century Celts’, Cornwall County Council – Paper: ‘The Commodification of Ethnic Identities: The case of Brittany’, September 2006
  • International Symposium on Sociolinguistics, University of Limerick, Ireland – Paper: ‘The McDonaldisation of the Breton Linguistic Landscape’, July 2006
  • International Symposium on Bilingualism, Barcelona, Spain – Paper: ‘What future for endangered languages? The case of neo-Breton’, March 2005

Conference organisation

  • Organiser of PLM 2010 Celtic Satelite Session Shifts and innovations in minority languages in the 21st century with an emphasis on P- and Q-Celtic, September 2011, Gniezno, Poland
  • Co-organiser of the 1st Poznań Conference of Celtic Studies, Poznań 18-19 October 2014
  • Co-convenor of panel on Language and legitimization (COST IS1306, Hamburg, May 2016)
  • Co-organiser of the 2nd Poznań Conference of Celtic Studies, Poznań 5-6 July 2016
  • Colloquium organizer: Modes of ‘new speakerness’: Routes and trajectories of transmission in becoming a new speaker. International Symposium of Bilingualism 11, University of Limerick, Ireland, June 2017


  • Studia Celtica Posnaniensia, Editor-in chief, 2016-now


  • AMU Rector's Prize for research achievements, 2016