Voices around OrkneyVoices around Orkney
Tom RendallTom Rendall
UHI Post Graduate ConferenceUHI Post Graduate Conference
O...
BackgroundBackground
 The Research QuestionsThe Research Questions
 The MethodologyThe Methodology
 Theoretical influen...
Family connectionsFamily connections
 The influence of the family was a feature asThe influence of the family was a featu...
Social ActivitiesSocial Activities
 Social activities where informants were placed in a variety ofSocial activities where...
Code-switchingCode-switching
 The chantin’ process – or pseudo-hypercorrection – which leadsThe chantin’ process – or pse...
The role of dialectThe role of dialect
 The role played by dialect in Orkney is significant andThe role played by dialect...
ObservationsObservations
 There is no reason to suppose that the Orkney dialect isThere is no reason to suppose that the ...
The Research QuestionsThe Research Questions
 The research undertaken has shown that migration to OrkneyThe research unde...
ConclusionsConclusions
 In terms of sociological thinking it is possible to putIn terms of sociological thinking it is po...
ConclusionsConclusions
 It is apparent that equilibrium is emerging within the use of dialect across the islandsIt is app...
Some quotesSome quotes
 I see no need tae change as I hiv spoken dialect aal meI see no need tae change as I hiv spoken d...
A Word for the BairnsA Word for the Bairns
O bairns be prood to use the wordsO bairns be prood to use the words
That in th...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Voices Around Orkney [Tom Rendall]

809 views
741 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
809
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Voices Around Orkney [Tom Rendall]

  1. 1. Voices around OrkneyVoices around Orkney Tom RendallTom Rendall UHI Post Graduate ConferenceUHI Post Graduate Conference October 2010October 2010
  2. 2. BackgroundBackground  The Research QuestionsThe Research Questions  The MethodologyThe Methodology  Theoretical influencesTheoretical influences  The FieldworkThe Fieldwork  Number of disciplines: sociology, psychology,Number of disciplines: sociology, psychology, sociolinguistics and anthropologysociolinguistics and anthropology  Presentation of research findingsPresentation of research findings
  3. 3. Family connectionsFamily connections  The influence of the family was a feature asThe influence of the family was a feature as most of the informants were keen to point outmost of the informants were keen to point out that they would use dialect at home or whenthat they would use dialect at home or when conversing with friends or neighbours.conversing with friends or neighbours.  This raised the importance of social distance inThis raised the importance of social distance in the decision to communicate with people whothe decision to communicate with people who have family ties or bonds through closehave family ties or bonds through close relationships within the community.relationships within the community.
  4. 4. Social ActivitiesSocial Activities  Social activities where informants were placed in a variety ofSocial activities where informants were placed in a variety of different speech situations painted a rather more fragmenteddifferent speech situations painted a rather more fragmented picture. In this context the use of dialect was tempered by thepicture. In this context the use of dialect was tempered by the perceived effect on the listeners.perceived effect on the listeners.  If theIf the speech-situationspeech-situation was more formal such as a meeting,was more formal such as a meeting, people would be likely to change in order to accommodate non-people would be likely to change in order to accommodate non- dialect speakers.dialect speakers.  Where the situation was more informal then the use of dialectWhere the situation was more informal then the use of dialect would be more prevalent. There would be less pressure or needwould be more prevalent. There would be less pressure or need to change and the participants would be more comfortable into change and the participants would be more comfortable in using there everyday mode of communication.using there everyday mode of communication.
  5. 5. Code-switchingCode-switching  The chantin’ process – or pseudo-hypercorrection – which leadsThe chantin’ process – or pseudo-hypercorrection – which leads to the dialect speaker adopting a form of code-switchingto the dialect speaker adopting a form of code-switching intended to impress others, led to some acerbic comments.intended to impress others, led to some acerbic comments.  This was seen as amusing or unnatural and a practice that shouldThis was seen as amusing or unnatural and a practice that should not be carried on in any situation.not be carried on in any situation.  People who deliberately promote a way of speaking where theyPeople who deliberately promote a way of speaking where they create a somewhatcreate a somewhat over-pronouncedover-pronounced use of dialect (known as “use of dialect (known as “ a pittan on way of spaekin”) was also not supported. This wasa pittan on way of spaekin”) was also not supported. This was seen as creating a false identity and devalues the richness of theseen as creating a false identity and devalues the richness of the vernacular.vernacular.
  6. 6. The role of dialectThe role of dialect  The role played by dialect in Orkney is significant andThe role played by dialect in Orkney is significant and constructive. There are various levels at which it isconstructive. There are various levels at which it is employed - some more robust than others.employed - some more robust than others.  These depend on age-groups, geographical locationsThese depend on age-groups, geographical locations and issues related to social distance.and issues related to social distance.  On a general basis the need for effectiveOn a general basis the need for effective communication was the most prominent factorcommunication was the most prominent factor influencing the decision to engage in SSE in preferenceinfluencing the decision to engage in SSE in preference to the vernacular.to the vernacular.  This was especially evident in communities where theThis was especially evident in communities where the influx of migrants had/has been greater such as theinflux of migrants had/has been greater such as the islands of Sanday, Eday and Stronsay.islands of Sanday, Eday and Stronsay.
  7. 7. ObservationsObservations  There is no reason to suppose that the Orkney dialect isThere is no reason to suppose that the Orkney dialect is in imminent danger.in imminent danger.  The findings of this thesis indicate there is a strongThe findings of this thesis indicate there is a strong interest in dialect and many people enjoy using it.interest in dialect and many people enjoy using it.  The migrants may be amused by it but also try to useThe migrants may be amused by it but also try to use dialect; their children may use an Orkney accentdialect; their children may use an Orkney accent  Visitors to the numerous tourist attractions enjoyVisitors to the numerous tourist attractions enjoy hearing some examples of the local tongue.hearing some examples of the local tongue.
  8. 8. The Research QuestionsThe Research Questions  The research undertaken has shown that migration to OrkneyThe research undertaken has shown that migration to Orkney has weakened the use of dialect throughout the islands. Therehas weakened the use of dialect throughout the islands. There has been a change in the perception of the vernacular employedhas been a change in the perception of the vernacular employed within a range of age groups.within a range of age groups.  The social, cultural and demographic changes experienced inThe social, cultural and demographic changes experienced in Orkney over the past 50 years have resulted in a transformationOrkney over the past 50 years have resulted in a transformation of attitudes towards the use of dialect but, in some cases, this hasof attitudes towards the use of dialect but, in some cases, this has led to a resilience and determination to preserve some of theled to a resilience and determination to preserve some of the dialect.dialect.  The increased movement of people within Orkney and greaterThe increased movement of people within Orkney and greater mobilisation in terms of travel outwith the islands has shaped themobilisation in terms of travel outwith the islands has shaped the attitudes of people from all age groups but the cultural and socialattitudes of people from all age groups but the cultural and social importance of the use of dialect has not been ignored.importance of the use of dialect has not been ignored.
  9. 9. ConclusionsConclusions  In terms of sociological thinking it is possible to putIn terms of sociological thinking it is possible to put forward a model of dialectical solidarity where theforward a model of dialectical solidarity where the social cohesion of the islands is related to the need tosocial cohesion of the islands is related to the need to practice values and beliefs that focus on the socialpractice values and beliefs that focus on the social significance of the dialect.significance of the dialect.  This approach would be linked to the promotion ofThis approach would be linked to the promotion of Orkney dialect within the local community in terms ofOrkney dialect within the local community in terms of education, media and indeed in the workingeducation, media and indeed in the working environment.environment.
  10. 10. ConclusionsConclusions  It is apparent that equilibrium is emerging within the use of dialect across the islandsIt is apparent that equilibrium is emerging within the use of dialect across the islands and parishes in Orkney. The cultural significance is recognised through the use ofand parishes in Orkney. The cultural significance is recognised through the use of dialect in a variety of situations.dialect in a variety of situations.  It is used as form of entertainment and at events, there are programmes on the localIt is used as form of entertainment and at events, there are programmes on the local radio station featuring dialect words and the works of Robert Rendall and Christinaradio station featuring dialect words and the works of Robert Rendall and Christina Costie provide people with the richness of the tongue through poetry and prose.Costie provide people with the richness of the tongue through poetry and prose.     The dialect in Orkney affects people at all levels within the community and is regardedThe dialect in Orkney affects people at all levels within the community and is regarded as a valuable resource. In a world where languages and dialect evolve and change theas a valuable resource. In a world where languages and dialect evolve and change the local dialect will also change and some of the words might not be in the vocabulary oflocal dialect will also change and some of the words might not be in the vocabulary of all speakers.all speakers.  There are feelings of optimism that it will survive but this durability will depend on theThere are feelings of optimism that it will survive but this durability will depend on the willingness of people to use dialect and a positive attitude towards its value to Orkney.willingness of people to use dialect and a positive attitude towards its value to Orkney.   
  11. 11. Some quotesSome quotes  I see no need tae change as I hiv spoken dialect aal meI see no need tae change as I hiv spoken dialect aal me life….no point in changin noo”life….no point in changin noo” (jc)(jc)  ““Am aafil faird that the dialect will get more and moreAm aafil faird that the dialect will get more and more diluted.. Used tae ken everbody in the parish … noo itsdiluted.. Used tae ken everbody in the parish … noo its jist a collection o strangers”jist a collection o strangers” (jw)(jw)  Folk that move up here should learn to spaek the weyFolk that move up here should learn to spaek the wey wae do .. Why should wae change cis they dinna….”wae do .. Why should wae change cis they dinna….” (dk)(dk)  ““It is maybe lukked on as no showin much respect ifIt is maybe lukked on as no showin much respect if you are using a local and parochial wey o spaekin” (nl)you are using a local and parochial wey o spaekin” (nl)
  12. 12. A Word for the BairnsA Word for the Bairns O bairns be prood to use the wordsO bairns be prood to use the words That in this book you’ll findThat in this book you’ll find Mak sure they’re often on yer lipsMak sure they’re often on yer lips And always in yer mindAnd always in yer mind And than wan day you’ll realiseAnd than wan day you’ll realise When you are no so youngWhen you are no so young That Orkney’s greatest treasure isThat Orkney’s greatest treasure is By far its mither tongueBy far its mither tongue

×