Scots and Scottish Gaelic?
Will Scotland care?
Scots or Scottish Gaelic?
Scotland had and has traditionally been
home to two languages:
The Celtic language of the Highlands and
Islands- Scottish Gaelic.
The Germanic language of the Lowlands,
and east of Scotland- Scots (Lallans).
Today we are going to talk about Scots.
Scots
Scots, which has no official status, is still
spoken by about 20% of the Scottish
population, mainly in the Lowlands.
It is also known in Ulster where it is known
as Ulster Scots.
It has various names including:
Lowland Scots, Lallans, Scots Leid, Braid
Scots, Doric, Teri, Buchan Claik.
Listening to Scots
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cENbkH
S3mnY
Scots
There is no real standard for Scots, so
many local variations exist.
Because of its unofficial status, it is usually
thought of as a dialect (series of dialects).
Mainly Aberdeen and the Borders.
Some, however, prefer to think of Scots as
a language in its own right.
Attitudes towards Scots
The 2010 Scottish Government study of
public attitudes towards the Scots
language found that 64% of Scottish
people ‘don’t really think of Scots as a
language’.
Origins of Scots
Scots is an abbreviation for Scottis (ie
Scottish). This term has only been used
since the 15th century.
Before that the word used was Inglis
(Scottis before the 15th century meant
Scottish Gaelic!). Erse was also used to
mean Scottish Gaelic.
Origins of Scots
 Scots developed from Northumbrian Old
English, a speech form that became established
in southern Scotland after the 7th century. (SE
Scotland).
 Everywhere else used Scottish Gaelic, or
Brythonic (Strathclyde).
 By the 15th century this situation was completely
reversed. Scots became the predominant
language in the south of Scotland.
Scots
Early towns in Scotland favoured the
spread of Scots. French which had been
the language of the courts declined.
Between 1610-1690s some 200,000 Scots
–speakers settled in Ulster (NE Ireland).
A more standardized form of English was
also used in Scotland after 1707 (Act of
Union).
Scots today
In Scotland today those who speak Scots
are able to use it in a range of speech
forms that includes ‘broad Scots’ and
standardized English.
This is known as a diglossic situation. It
can also be called ‘code-switching’.
The ‘colour’ of one’s language can cross
many hybrids.
Scots Today
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish
between English-influenced Scots and
Scots-influenced English.
This of course leads to disputes about
whether Scots can be classed as a
‘language’ in its own right.
Scots Today
The government of the United Kingdom
now accepts Scots as a regional language
and has recognized it as such under the
European Charter for Regional or Minority
Languages.
The Scottish Executive (government) has
made a similar declaration:
Scots Today
The Scottish Executive recognizes and
respects Scots (in all its forms) as a
distinct language and does not consider
the use of Scots to be an indication of poor
competence in English.
More later on the Scottish Government’s
stance on Scots.
The ‘Northern British’ and their languages
Following the 1707 Act of Union, many
Lowlander Scots considered themselves
to be ‘Northern Britons’ rather than Scots.
This of course indicates that the Act of
Union was instrumental in constructing a
new identity for the peoples of the Britain
(especially those in the Celtic regions!).
The ‘Northern British’ and their languages
Many of those who lived in Edinburgh and
Glasgow did their best to rid themselves of
Scots (the language). Not only in the
spoken language but also in their written
English.
Famous Scottish thinkers of the time like
David Hume and Adam Smith went to
great lengths to eradicate their Scottish
‘accents’.
The ‘Northern British’ and their languages
This was the beginning of the class
distinction between who mainly spoke
Scots and those who sought to speak a
standardized form of English.
This was largely going to be true until the
beginning of the 20th century.
Scots writing
Yet, Scots had been a medium for writing.
Much of the best of this Scots writing
derives from the 15th century (Royal Court
in Edinburgh).
William Dunbar, Robert Henryson, Gavin
Douglas, David Lyndsay.
William Dunbar c1465-c1530
He hes done petuously devour,
The noble Chaucer, of makaris flour,
The Monk of Bery, and Gower, all thre;
Timor mortis conturbat me.
The gude Syr Hew of Eglintoun,
And eik Heryot, and Wyntoun,
He hes tane out of this cuntre;
Timor mortis conturbat me
Scots writing
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuies
Scots as a literary language saw a revival.
The name which especially comes to mind
is that of Robert Burns (Burns Night etc).
His writing was a hybrid of Scots and
English very often, no doubt partially
reflecting the norms of his day (17591796)
Writing in Scots in the early 20th century
 The novelist Sir Walter Scott also brought
conversations in Scots into his work. 19th c.
 In the 1920s there was a renaissance in the use
of Scots, focussed especially on the poet Hugh
MacDiarmid.
 His most famous poem was ‘A Drunk Man Looks
at a Thistle’ (1926).
 This showed that Scots could be used for high
literature.
Hugh MacDiarmid
1892-1978
A Drunk Man Looks at a Thistle- first lines
I amna fou' sae muckle as tired - deid dune.
It's gey and hard wark coupin' gless for gless
Wi' Cruivie and Gilsanquhar and the like,
And I'm no' juist as bauld as aince I wes.
Archaic and obscure words, to create an
integrated Scots literary language.
Scots
http://www.scotslanguage.com/
http://www.mithertongue.co.uk/shop.php?v
iew=page&page=67
Scots in the Twentieth century
Writing Scots waned by the 20th century
(although it was still widely spoken).
In the 1930s children were
physically punished for speaking Scots
The Scottish Education Department in the
1940s stated that Scots was not the
language of educated people.
The language itself went through important
changes, especially in urban
 centres.
Using Scots- Wir Ain Leid
 Well into the 1950s, children were still punished
for speaking their ‘mithertongue’.
 During all of the 20th century there were small
numbers of writers who employed Scots.
 Translations, (1983 New Testament by William
Laughton Lorimer).
 Novels/Films (Transpotting by Irvine Welsh)
 Cyberpunk- But’n’Ben A-Go-Go (Matthew Fitt)
Scots in the Twentieth century
Successive generations have adopted
more and more features from
Standardized English.
In the opinion of some speakers, Scots
was a form of ‘slang’.
More recently (post 2000), some changes
have taken place in the attitudes of people
to Scots. (pluralism in society).
Spoken Scots in the Media
http://scottishaffairs.org/backiss/pdfs/sa21/
sa21_Cormack.pdf
Comedy Programmes (TV) Stand-up
Comics (The Big Yin= Billy Connolly)
Drama programmes (TV)
Interviews with members of the public
Billy Connolly
Connolly sometimes uses Scots freely in
his routines.
He has also written plays in Scots, eg: An’
Me Wi’ A Bad Leg Tae.
Attitudes to Scots
 What on earth are we Scots going to do about
our 'mither tongue'? On the one hand, most of
us would like to see the Scots tongue survive,
and
 strongly resent the idea that it's a 'low' form of
speech fit only for comedians and servants. Yet
on the other, we seem unable to stop
 ourselves from laughing like idiots every time we
hear a few words of Scots used in a public
place, so strongly have we come to associate it
 with the uncouth, the ill-educated, the infantile,
and the unmentionable
Attitudes to Scots
It would not be difficult to find a way of
speaking Scots which would become the
central form of the language, and in fact
this process has been happening with
Gaelic as its media use has expanded.
Ie, a need for a ‘standard’
Attitude of the Scottish Government to
Scots
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/20
11/03/18094509/2
March 2011
See recommendations.
Scots in the 21st century
No education takes place through the
medium of Scots (compare this with
Scottish Gaelic), but Scots is now
integrated into ‘English’ classes.
Scots can be studied at university level.
Perceptions of the language.
Scots for school kids
http://www.scuilwab.org.uk/
Songs for children in Scots.
Hogmaney Song in Scots
http://www.scotslanguage.com/books/view
/60/734
Descargar

Scots or Scottish Gaelic?