The Guid Scots Tongue 10/25 --Standardization of English --Highlands and Lowlands Scotland The state of English in the 17th Century Writers experimenting with English lead to the belief that the language (word coinages/spelling/grammar was getting out of hand. “How barbarously we yet write and speak.” --John Dryden This resulted in the belief that an unruly Language was reflective of an unruly society. Scientific and political advancements in the 17th century had a strong impact on vocabulary. The belief that Latin was a pure language not subject to change Swift: A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue (1712) My Lord; I do here in the Name of all the Learned and Polite Persons of the Nation, complain to your Lordship, as First Minister, the our Language is extremely imperfect; that its daily Improvements are by no means in proportion to its daily Corruptions; and the Pretenders to polish and refine it, have chiefly multiplied Abuses and Absurdities; and, that in many Instances, it offends against every Part of Grammar. Dictionaries in English Few who see or read a play by Shakespeare realize that he wrote without access to an English dictionary as we know it. At his death in 1616, the only lexicons serving English were Edmund Coote's brief list of 1,368 words in his English Schoolmaster (1596) and Robert Cawdrey's list of 2,543 hard words in his Table Alphabeticall (1604). The first full English-only dictionary, by Thomas Blount (1656) Samuel Johnson, a famous poet and critic as well as a lexicographer, published his dictionary in two volumes in 1755 and it immediately set the standard of English lexicography. Samuel Johnson Johnson's dictionary (over 40,000 words) offered what was by far the most detailed, orderly, and comprehensive description of the English language to date, and it remained so for many years. In addition to his Dictionary and the philosophical romance of THE PRINCE OF ABYSSINIA (1759, later known as RASSELAS), Johnson published essays in The Adventurer (1752-54) and The Idler (1758-60). The new monarch George III awarded Johnson in 1762 an annual pension, which improved his circumstances. He spent his time in coffee houses in conversation and in idleness. In 1763 he met the young Scot James Boswell, who became his biographer and with whom he formed one of the most famous friendships in literary history. With Boswell he traveled in 1773 in Scotland and published his observations in A JOURNEY TO THE WESTERN ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND (1775). Scotland Scotland is a nation in northwest Europe and is a constituent country of the United Kingdom. It occupies the northern Third of Great Britain and shares a land border ti the south with England and it bounded by the North Sea on the east and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh. Map of Scotland English in Scotland The majority of Scotland's population speak English, a consequence of England's political and cultural domination. But there are two other - lesser known - languages that have been there far longer, and they are still there—Gaelic and Scots. Scots in the lowlands adopting English of the south, Scots in the Highlands had a more Gaelic identity. Highland Scots suffered a great blow in the Jacobite Uprising. Highlands and Lowlands Bonnie Prince Charles and the Jacobites The Jacobites got to within 130 miles of London, but at Derby fell to fighting amongst each other. Without support from the Scottish lowlands or England, and with a promised French force never materializing, they were forced to retreat. After the failure of the 1745 Rising, the chief poet and propagandist of the movement, Alexander MacDonald (or Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair as he is known in Gaelic) wrote: O poor Scotland, are you not ashamed of what has happened to you - a mere handful of Gaels left to engage the enemy? Will you not summon your mighty strength, o progeny of Scota of the swords? This defeat left the Highlanders to be viewed as “Second-class citizens” The defeat influenced the persecution of the Highland Scots and their associated language (Scots Gaelic) Gaelic A thousand years ago the majority of the Scottish population spoke Gaelic. Nowadays the language has largely been reduced to the Highlands and Islands. By the latest census in 1991 the language was brought down to 66,000, around 1.5% of a population of over 5+ million. Furthermore, the 66,000 speakers are mainly the elderly, Gaelic is a very endangered language. But during the last 20 years it has experienced a revival which is part of the rising awareness - or creation of - a separate Scottish identity. Pop and rock stars sing in Gaelic, all the political parties want to protect Gaelic. There is a growing movement for Scottish Kindergartens/Pre-schools. Many schools now teach what was once a proscribed language and TV and radio broadcast in Gaelic. Together with tartan and whisky and bagpipes Gaelic is part of the romantic Scottish myth, and most Scots believe it is Scotland's aboriginal language. They also believe it is impossibly difficult. Gaelic is an English word for any of three languages Which form one half of the Celtic language family group. These three Gaelic languages are – Irish Gaelic Gaeilge – Manx Gaelic Gailck – Scottish Gaelic Gàidhlig These three languages are spoken in Ireland, Man and Scotland. Scots Gaelic Tha mi sona. Tha iad beag. Tha e mór. Tha sinn òg. I am happy. They are little. He is big. We are young. "Tha mi fallain, tha mi òg" "I am healthy, I am young" As Gaelic had been driven from the national institutions of Scotland, it ceased to have significance in national identity. Scottish Gaeldom reoriented itself back towards Ireland, and away from the estranged central government. Scots This language is originally northern form of English due to migrations of feudal lords. The feudal movement in Scotland was accelerated by King David, who had spent his adolescence at the English court. When David assumed the Scottish throne in 1124, he ushered in further church reform, feudal land grants and the establishment of royal burghs. The new parish system was often closely related to feudal land grants, making it function as part of the policy of royal control and consolidation. Scots Tung Hame Page Walcome tae the new wabsite o Scots Tung, the yin that tells ye a guid Scots tung in yer heid’s nae guid if yer mooth’s ower blate tae yaise it. If ye’re a native Scots speaker, try an get yaised tae seein the language ye speak every day in its written form athin thae pages. Ye might hiv been telt bi yer teacher an bi ithers that whit ye speak is juist a local slang or even an ill-moothit kind o English but it’s no. It’s Scots aw right! There mony kinds o Scots that depends maistly on whare ye bide an they’re aw dialects o Scots. Nane o them is dialects o English. Aboot twa thirds o the words in a guid Scots text is words that the English language shares wi Scots. Baith thae languages acquired thae words maistly aboot the same time an baith his an equal right tae yaise them an cry them their ain. Polarization between Lowlands and Highlands The manners and customs of the Scots vary with the diversity of their speech. For two languages are spoken amongst them, the Scottish and the Teutonic; the latter of which is the language of those who occupy the seaboard and plains, while the race of Scottish speech inhabits the Highlands and outlying islands. The people of the coast are of domestic and civilized habits ... The Highlanders and people of the islands, on the other hand, are a savage and untamed race, rude and independent, given to rapine, ease-loving ... hostile to the English people and language ... and exceedingly cruel. (John of Fordun c. 1380) The Highlanders, again, regarded the Lowlanders as a very inferior mongrel race of intruders, sons of little men, without heroism, without ancestry, or genius ... who could neither sleep upon the snow, compose extempore songs, recite long tales of wonder or of woe, or live without bread and without shelter for weeks together, following the chace. Whatever was mean or effeminate, whatever was dull, slow, mechanical, or torpid, was in the Highlands imputed to the Lowlanders, and exemplified by allusions to them... (Grant of Lagan,1811) Questions Do you think that a language should be able to change over time? Why or why not? 2. What was the significance of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary? 3. Why is there a difference between Scots and Scots Gaelic? 4. What parallels do you see between the fate of language in Scotland and the fate of nonstandard languages in the United states? 1.