A university research scientist has been honoured for her work for the Gaelic cause in an unlikely outpost of the language, the US city of Tucson.

Muriel Fisher, who works in an area best known for its arid climate, has just been awarded the prize at a ceremony in Arizona.

Ms Fisher, who is a native speaker from Skye, is based at the University of Arizona in its linguistics department.

She has now been awarded the Excellence in Community Linguistics Award from the Linguistic Society of America.

Ms Fisher has been teaching Gaelic there for many years, privately in her Tucson Gaelic Institute. But since 2008, she has also been working with various linguists at the university.

Andrew Carnie, Dean of the Graduate College and Professor of Linguistics said: "Once we started working with Muriel in traditional elicitation it became clear that she had an innate talent as a linguist. Although she doesn't have the technical vocabulary to describe her observations, she often stunned us with her metalinguistic insights about the language.

"A number of times she figured out what we were looking for and directed us to the right kind of forms without any prompting."

Each summer she spends several months at Skye's Gaelic college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, where she helps with learners' courses and has taken students from Arizona with her.

Her award recognises the outstanding contributions that members of language communities, typically outside the academic sphere of professional linguists, make for the benefit of their community's language.