University of Ulster - Web Logo
UU Homepage | Courses | Research | Contact Us | Site Index

Dean of Arts
Faculty Research
Cultural Development


Dr Iwan Wmffre
Lecturer in Irish

BackgroundIwan Wmffre was appointed Lecturer at the Institute for Irish and Celtic Studies in 2006, having previously held the positions of Professor of Celtic at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland (2003–05), Lecturer in Breton at the National University of Ireland, Galway (1999–2001), and researcher for the Welsh Dialect Survey of the University of Wales (1991–97).

EducationAttended schools in Cardiganshire and progressed to study history and Irish at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Research FieldsPrimary linguistic spheres of specialism are the Brittonic languages (Welsh, Breton, Cornish) and the Gaelic languages (fields of research being: onomastics, historical phonology, dialectology, linguistic norm-setting). A number of texts of interest translated in either direction between Welsh, Breton and Irish. Likewise primary historical spheres of specialism cover Britain, France, Ireland (fields of research being: place-names, settlement history, medieval lordships and early modern geographical units of administration, ethnic interactions of early Britain). Other historical interest specialisms are the modern history of the present-day Celtic countries, societal linguistics, wartime Brittany, Welsh literary men, the Gaelic revival in Ireland, and Celtic scholars in general. Interests outside the Celtic sphere are ethnic interactions and nationalism in a worldwide context.

Recent PublicationsBooks Authored:Breton Orthographies and Dialects: the Twentieth-century Orthography War in Brittany, vols.1–2, 2007 Bern – Berlin – Bruxelles – Frankfurt-am-Main – New York – Oxford – Wien, xxvii + 784 pp.

The Place-names of Cardiganshire, vols.1–3, 2004 Oxford, cxxx + 1397 pp.

Language and Place-names in Wales: the Evidence of Toponymy in Cardiganshire, 2003 Cardiff, xii + 447 pp.

Late Cornish, 1999 München, 73 pp.

Central Breton, 1999 München, 63 pp.

Koroll an Ankou, 1998 Brest, 141 pp. (translation into Breton of Ambrose Bebb’s 1940 Y Ddawns Angau with essay)

Recent Articles:Post-Roman Irish settlement in Wales: new insights from a recent study of Cardiganshire place-names, in Ireland and Wales in the Middle Ages. Edited by Karen Jankulak and Jonathan Wooding, 2007, Dublin, Four Courts, 46–61.

Das walisische Personennamensystem (E. ‘The Welsh personal-name system’, in Europäische Personennamensysteme: Ein Handbuch. Edited by Andrea Brendler and Silvio Brendler, 2007, Hamburg, Baar, 816–34.

An Béal Bocht: a critique of Irish nationalism, Irish-language literature and the people of the Gaeltacht?, in Proceedings of the Eighth Symposium of Societas Celtologica Nordica. Edited by Jan Erik Rekdal and Ailbhe Ó Corráin, 2007, Uppsala, Uppsala Universitet, 275–84.

Review of Martin J. Ball and Briony Williams Welsh Phonetics, 2001, Lewiston, NY – Queenston, Ontario – Lampeter, Wales, Edwin Mellen, in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 55 (2007) 301–07.

Review of Markku Filpulla and Juhani Klemola and Heli Pitkänen The Celtic Roots of English, 2002, Joensuu: University of Joensuu, Faculty of Humanities, in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 55 (2007) 308–14.

Ideology and the learning of Celtic languages, in The Past in the Present: a Multidisciplinary Approach. Edited by Fabio Mugnaini and Pádraig Ó Héalaí and Tok Thompson, 2006, Catania, Edit, 235–57.

Welsh personal names: a survey of their evolution through the ages, in Zunamen: Zeitschrift für Namenforschung 1 (2006) 147–74.

Review article of Sabine Heinz Welsh Dictionaries in the Twentieth Century: a Critical Analysis, 2003 (2nd edn), München, Lincom Europa, in Journal of Celtic Studies 10 (2006) 121–37.

Penrhyn Blathaon ac amgyffred yr Hen Gymry o eithafion gogledd Prydain (E. ‘The peninsula of Blathaon and the awareness of the northern extremities of Britain amongst the medieval Welsh’), in Studia Celtica 38 (2004) 59–68.

Learners, native speakers and the authenticity of language, in Communicating Cultures. Edited by Ullrich Kockel and Máiréad Nic Craith, 2004, Münster, Lit, 149–75.

(with D. Gwyn L. Jones) Transhumance in the British Isles – decline or transformation?, in Transhumance and Biodiversity in European Mountains. Edited by Robert G. H. Bunce and Marta Pérez Soba and Rob H. G. Jongman and Antonio Gómez and Felix Herzog and Ingvid Austad, 2004, Wageningen, IALE (International Association for Landscape Ecology), 69–89.

Review article of Dylan Foster Evans Gwiath Hywel Swrdwal a’i Deulu, 2000, Aberystwyth, Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd Prifysgol Cymru, in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 54 (2004) 290–93.

The evolution of Welsh- and Cornish-English phonology in the Early Modern Period, in Celtic Englishes III. Edited by Hildegard L. C. Tristram, 2003, Heidelberg, Carl Winter, 240–59.

Urban Celtic subcultures 1700–1850, in Kulturmetropolen – Metropolenkultur: die Stadt als Kommunikationsraum in 18. Jahrhundert. Edited by Raingard Esser and Thomas Fuchs, 2002, Berlin, BWV, 29–58.

Mynydawc – ruler of Edinburgh?, in Studi Celtici 1 (2002) 83–106.

Is societal bilingualism sustainable?: reflections and indications from the Celtic countries, in Migration, Minorities, Compensation: Issues of Cultural Identity in Europe. Edited by Helmut Eberhardt and Ulrika Wolf-Knuts, 2001, Brussels, Coimbra Group Working Party for Folklore and European Ethnology, 121–42.

Iwerddon a Chymru (E. ‘Ireland and Wales’), in Tafod y Ddraig 231 (1989) 15–16.


Copyright © 2007 University of Ulster

MEMBER DETAILSMember BiographyContact DetailsIRISH & CELTIC STUDIES RI INFORMATIONIrish and Celtic Studies Research InstituteResearch SpecialismsStaff ListRAE Books 2001-2007Research ProjectsResearch Links Research Reports Honorary DoctoratesPostgraduate OpportunitiesAcademy for Irish Cultural HeritagesEventsSeminarsNews