Since the early 1960s the ‘language question’ in Wales has excited deep and often fractious debate. It is to the pace and pattern of change in the Welsh-speaking population of Wales, and the efforts that have been made to halt the long-standing spiral of linguistic decline that this study addresses itself. Of particular interest is the situation prevailing in rural areas of the north and west of the Principality. These areas have long been regarded as the traditional bastions of the language, and it is here that the forces of anglicisation are currently having such a profound effect on indigenous communities. Together, these communities occupy and define a heartland — a linguistic domain — that is frequently referred to as Y Fro Gymraeg (literally the Welsh-speaking Region). No firm boundaries can be specified, but this core is normally thought to include areas where more than seventy per cent, or even eighty per cent, of the resident population aged three years and over is able to speak Welsh. Beyond this boundary lies Cymru di-Gymraeg (literally non Welsh-speaking Wales); for some, the land from which the language has been disinherited.