What do you think of Scotland so far? What do you think about Scottish people? Scotland Scots
What do the following terms mean to you? Are they an important part of who you are? Danish Scandinavian European
What do you think these terms mean? What do you think about Scottish cultural identity? Scottish English British
When shown in England, the first 15 minutes of the Ken Loach film ‘Sweet Sixteen’ were subtitled to ease the English audience into the language. How much could you understand? Why was it difficult?
Consider the following quotes: Its as absurd to call Scots a dialect of English as it is to call English a dialect of Scots. Norman MacCaig, poet (1910-96) ‘A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.’ Max Weinreich, linguist (1894-1969) ‘Scots is not one dialect but several. Put a man from Wick, another from Aberdeen, a third from Perth, in a room with a Fifer, a Glaswegian and a Borderer, and see if they all speak the same dialect’ Dr Sheila Douglas, author and singer, 1994
500 Angles establish Northumbria1124 King David I of Scotland crowned1494 First mention of ‘Scottis’1603 James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England1611 Publication of the King James Bible1707 The Act of Union1786 Robert Burns publishes Kilmarnock Edition of his poems1872 Education Act ignores Scots1999 Devolution2001 Recognised as a language under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages2007 Scots included in Curriculum for Excellence
Which versus witch The /x/ phoneme in loch The Scottish Vowel Length Rule (SVLR), grief (short) and grieve (long), brood (short) and brewed (long) Scots vowels are unrounded in words like stone (stane) and go (gae) and are not diphthongised in hoose and roond because Scots vowels took a different direction from the English ones during the Great Vowel Shift (1350-1500). Scots modal verbs show several different nuances, can or could + please rather than may.
It is in the vocabulary that the difference between Scots and English remains at its strongest. Every variety of Scots has its own words (from many sources) that are not only absent from English but might not even be found in any other variety of Scots.
Listen to the following poem by one of Scotland’s most successful contemporary poets, Liz Lochhead (now Scotland’s Makar) Kidsong/Bairnsang Try to pick up on the translations she gives of some commonly used Scots words