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Higher category: Language
Scottish English (Scottish Gaelic : Beurla Albannach) is the set of varieties of the English language spoken in Scotland. The transregional, standardised variety is called Scottish Standard English or Standard Scottish English (SSE). Scottish Standard English may be defined as "the characteristic speech of the professional class [in Scotland] and the accepted norm in schools". IETF language tag for "Scottish Standard English" is en-scotland.
In addition to distinct pronunciation, grammar and expressions, Scottish English has distinctive vocabulary, particularly pertaining to Scottish institutions such as the Church of Scotland, local government and the education and legal systems. [ citation needed ]
Scottish Standard English is at one end of a bipolar linguistic continuum, with focused broad Scots at the other.Scottish English may be influenced to varying degrees by Scots. Many Scots speakers separate Scots and Scottish English as different registers depending on social circumstances. Some speakers code switch clearly from one to the other while others style shift in a less predictable and more fluctuating manner. Generally there is a shift to Scottish English in formal situations or with individuals of a higher social status.
Scottish English resulted from language contact between Scots and the Standard English of England after the 17th century. The resulting shifts to English usage by Scots-speakers resulted in many phonological compromises and lexical transfers, often mistaken for mergers by linguists unfamiliar with the history of Scottish English.Furthermore, the process was also influenced by interdialectal forms, hypercorrections and spelling pronunciations. (See the section on phonology below.)
Convention traces the influence of the English of England upon Scots to the 16th-century Reformation and to the introduction of printing.Printing arrived in London in 1476, but the first printing press was not introduced to Scotland for another 30 years. Texts such as the Geneva Bible, printed in English, were widely distributed in Scotland in order to spread Protestant doctrine.
King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England in 1603. Since England was the larger and richer of the two Kingdoms, James moved his court to London in England. The poets of the court therefore moved south and "began adapting the language and style of their verse to the tastes of the English market".To this event McClure attributes "the sudden and total eclipse of Scots as a literary language". The continuing absence of a Scots translation of the Bible meant that the translation of King James into English was used in worship in both countries.
The Acts of Union 1707 amalgamated the Scottish and English Parliaments. However the church, educational and legal structures remained separate. This leads to important professional distinctions in the definitions of some words and terms. There are therefore words with precise definitions in Scottish English which have either no place in English English or have a different definition.
The speech of the middle classes in Scotland tends to conform to the grammatical norms of the written standard, particularly in situations that are regarded as formal. Highland English is slightly different from the variety spoken in the Lowlands in that it is more phonologically, grammatically, and lexically influenced by a Gaelic substratum. Similarly, the English spoken in the North-East of Scotland tends to follow the phonology and grammar of Doric.
Although pronunciation features vary among speakers (depending on region and social status), there are a number of phonological aspects characteristic of Scottish English:
|Lexical set||Scottish English||Examples|
|FACE||[e(ː)]||bay, hey, fate|
|PALM||balm, father, pa|
|LOT||[ɔ]||bod, pot, cot|
|THOUGHT||bawd, paw, caught|
|GOAT||[o(ː)]||road, stone, toe|
|FOOT||[ʉ~ʏ]||good, foot, put|
|PRICE||[ɐi~ɜi~əi]||buy, ride, write|
|Vowels followed by /r/|
|SQUARE||[e(ː)ə̞r]||bear, mare, Mary|
|FORCE||[oː(ə̞)r]||boar, four, more|
[ɪr], [ɛ̝r], [ʌr]
|bird, herd, furry|
This section needs additional citations for verification .(December 2011)
Scotticisms are idioms or expressions that are characteristic of Scots, especially when used in English.They are more likely to occur in spoken than written language.
The use of Scottish English, as well as of Scots and of Gaelic in Scotland, were documented over the 20th century by the Linguistic Survey of Scotland at the University of Edinburgh.
Scotticisms are generally divided into two types:covert Scotticisms, which generally go unnoticed as being particularly Scottish by those using them, and overt Scotticisms, usually used for stylistic effect, with those using them aware of their Scottish nature.
Scottish English has inherited a number of lexical items from Scots, [ citation needed ]which are less common in other forms of standard English.
General items are wee, the Scots word for small (also common in New Zealand English, probably under Scottish influence); wean or bairn for child (the latter from Common Germanic,cf modern Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Faroese barn, West Frisian bern and also used in Northern English dialects); bonnie for pretty, attractive, (or good looking, handsome, as in the case of Bonnie Prince Charlie); braw for fine; muckle for big; spail or skelf for splinter (cf. spall); snib for bolt; pinkie for little finger; janitor for school caretaker (these last two are also standard in American English); outwith, meaning 'outside of'; cowp for tip or spill; fankle for a tangled mess; kirk for 'church' (from the same root in Old English but with parallels in other Germanic languages, e.g. Old Norse kirkja, Dutch kerk). Examples of culturally specific items are Hogmanay , caber , haggis , bothy , scone (also used elsewhere in the British Isles), oatcake (now widespread in the UK), tablet , rone (roof gutter), teuchter , ned , numpty (witless person; now more common in the rest of the UK) and landward (rural); It's your shot for "It's your turn"; and the once notorious but now obsolete tawse .
The diminutive ending "-ie" is added to nouns to indicate smallness, as in laddie and lassie for a young boy and young girl. Other examples are peirie (child's wooden spinning top) and sweetie (piece of confectionery). The ending can be added to many words instinctively, e.g. bairn (see above) can become bairnie, a small shop can become a wee shoppie. These diminutives are particularly common among the older generations and when talking to children.
The use of "How?" meaning "Why?" is distinctive of Scottish, Northern English and Northern Irish English. "Why not?" is often rendered as "How no?".
There is a range of (often anglicised) legal and administrative vocabulary inherited from Scots, /ˈdɛpjut/ for deputy, proven /ˈproːvən/ for proved (standard in American English), interdict for '"injunction", and sheriff-substitute for "acting sheriff". In Scottish education a short leet is a list of selected job applicants, and a remit is a detailed job description. Provost is used for "mayor" and procurator fiscal for "public prosecutor".e.g. depute
Often, lexical differences between Scottish English and Southern Standard English are simply differences in the distribution of shared lexis, such as stay for "live" (as in: where do you stay?).
The progressive verb forms are used rather more frequently than in other varieties of standard English, for example with some stative verbs (I'm wanting a drink). The future progressive frequently implies an assumption (You'll be coming from Glasgow?).
In some areas perfect aspect of a verb is indicated using "be" as auxiliary with the preposition "after" and the present participle: for example "He is after going" instead of "He has gone" (this construction is borrowed from Scottish Gaelic).
The definite article tends to be used more frequently in phrases such as I've got the cold/the flu, he's at the school, I'm away to the kirk.
Speakers often use prepositions differently. The compound preposition off of is often used (Take that off of the table). Scots commonly say I was waiting on you (meaning "waiting for you"), which means something quite different in Standard English.
In colloquial speech shall and ought are scarce, must is marginal for obligation and may is rare. Here are other syntactical structures:
Note that in Scottish English, the first person declarative I amn't invited and interrogative Amn't I invited? are both possible.
Spoken English shows great variation across regions where it is the predominant language. For example, the UK has the largest variation of accents of any country, meaning that there is no single ‘British accent’. This article provides an overview of the numerous identifiable variations in pronunciation; such distinctions usually derive from the phonetic inventory of local dialects, as well as from broader differences in the Standard English of different primary-speaking populations.
Scots is a West Germanic language variety spoken in Scotland and parts of Ulster in the north of Ireland. It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Goidelic Celtic language that was historically restricted to most of the Highlands, the Hebrides and Galloway after the 16th century. Modern Scots is a sister language of Modern English, as the two diverged independently from the same source: Early Middle English (1150–1300).
Ulster Scots or Ulster-Scots, also known as Ulster Scotch, Scots-Irish and Ullans, is the partially-constructed dialect of the Scots spoken in parts of Ulster in Ireland. It is generally considered a dialect or group of dialects of Scots, although groups such as the Ulster-Scots Language Society and Ulster-Scots Academy consider it a language in its own right, and the Ulster-Scots Agency and former Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure have used the term Ulster-Scots language.
The speech of Glaswegians, popularly known as the Glasgow patter or Glaswegian, varies from Scottish English at one end of a bipolar linguistic continuum, with the local dialect of West Central Scots at the other. Therefore, the speech of many Glaswegians can draw on a "continuum between fully localised and fully standardised". Additionally, the Glasgow dialect has Highland English and Hiberno-English influences owing to the speech of Highlanders and Irish people who migrated in large numbers to the Glasgow area in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While being named for Glasgow, the accent is typical for natives across the full Greater Glasgow area and associated counties such as Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire and parts of Ayrshire, which formerly came under the single authority of Strathclyde. It is most common in working class people, which can lead to stigma from members of other classes or those outside Glasgow.
The history of the Scots language refers to how Anglic varieties spoken in parts of Scotland developed into modern Scots.
Like many other languages, English has wide variation in pronunciation, both historically and from dialect to dialect. In general, however, the regional dialects of English share a largely similar phonological system. Among other things, most dialects have vowel reduction in unstressed syllables and a complex set of phonological features that distinguish fortis and lenis consonants.
Highland English or Highland and Island English is the variety of Scottish English spoken by many in the Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides. It is more strongly influenced by Gaelic than other forms of Scottish English.
This chart shows the most common applications of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent English language pronunciations.
This is a presentation of the phonological history of the Scots language.
Ulster English is the variety of English spoken in most of the Irish province of Ulster and throughout Northern Ireland. The dialect has been influenced by the Ulster Irish and Scots languages, the latter of which was brought over by Scottish settlers during the Plantation of Ulster and subsequent settlements throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
The English language in Northern England has been shaped by the region's history of settlement and migration, and today encompasses a group of related dialects known as Northern England English. Historically, the strongest influence on the varieties of the English language spoken in Northern England was the Northumbrian dialect of Old English, but contact with Old Norse during the Viking Age and with Irish English following the Great Famine have produced new and distinctive styles of speech. Some "Northern" traits can be found further south than others: only conservative Northumbrian dialects retain the pre-Great Vowel Shift pronunciation of words such as town, but all northern accents lack the FOOT–STRUT split, and this trait extends a significant distance into the Midlands.
The cot–caught merger or LOT–THOUGHT merger, formally known in linguistics as the low back merger, is a sound change present in some dialects of English where speakers do not distinguish the vowel phonemes in "cot" and "caught". "Cot" and "caught" is an example of a minimal pair that is lost as a result of this sound change. The phonemes involved in the cot-caught merger, the low back vowels, are typically represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet as and, respectively. The merger is typical of most Canadian and Scottish English dialects as well as many Irish and American English dialects.
Early Scots was the emerging literary language of the Northern Middle English speaking parts of Scotland in the period before 1450. The northern forms of Middle English descended from Northumbrian Old English. During this period, speakers referred to the language as "English".
The Scottish Vowel Length Rule describes how vowel length in Scots, Scottish English, and, to some extent, Ulster English and Geordie is conditioned by the phonetic environment of the target vowel. Primarily, the rule is that certain vowels are phonetically long in the following environments:
Adam Jack Aitken was a Scottish lexicographer and leading scholar of the Scots language.
The languages of Scotland are the languages spoken or once spoken in Scotland. Each of the numerous languages spoken in Scotland during its recorded linguistic history falls into either the Germanic or Celtic language families. The classification of the Pictish language was once controversial, but it is now generally considered a Celtic language. Today, the main language spoken in Scotland is English, while Scots and Scottish Gaelic are minority languages. The dialect of English spoken in Scotland is referred to as Scottish English.
The pronunciation of the digraph ⟨wh⟩ in English has changed over time, and still varies today between different regions and accents. It is now most commonly pronounced, the same as a plain initial ⟨w⟩, although some dialects, particularly those of Scotland, Ireland, and the Southern United States, retain the traditional pronunciation, generally realized as, a voiceless "w" sound. The process by which the historical has become in most modern varieties of English is called the wine–whine merger. It is also referred to as glide cluster reduction.
A Scotticism is a phrase or word which is characteristic of dialects of the Scots language.
Modern Scots comprises the varieties of Scots traditionally spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster, from 1700.
Rhoticity in English is the pronunciation of the historical rhotic consonant in all contexts by speakers of certain varieties of English. The presence or absence of rhoticity is one of the most prominent distinctions by which varieties of English can be classified. In rhotic varieties, the historical English sound is preserved in all pronunciation contexts. In non-rhotic varieties, speakers no longer pronounce in postvocalic environments—that is, when it is immediately after a vowel and not followed by another vowel. For example, in isolation, a rhotic English speaker pronounces the words hard and butter as /ˈhɑːrd/ and /ˈbʌtər/, whereas a non-rhotic speaker "drops" or "deletes" the sound, pronouncing them as /ˈhɑːd/ and /ˈbʌtə/. When an r is at the end of a word but the next word begins with a vowel, as in the phrase "better apples", most non-rhotic speakers will pronounce the in that position, since it is followed by a vowel in this case. Many speakers that use the linking R generalize it as the intrusive R, applying it to words that traditionally do not end in /r/, but this is often stigmatized.
An idiom or mode of expression characteristic of Scots; esp. as used by a writer of English.