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Accents and Dialects of Scotland

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«Accents and Dialects of Scotland»

Accents and Dialects of Scotland

The linguistic landscape of Scotland is considerably more complex than it is in most of England and Wales, with a broad range of dialects and older language forms contributing to a rich and varied national voice.

As in Wales, an ethnic Celtic language exists alongside English — in this case Scottish Gaelic. Like other heritage languages, it is experiencing something of a revival as a result of a renewed sense of national identity and recent positive legislation. However, the census of 2001 revealed that less than 2% of the total population of Scotland currently speak any Gaelic.[3,57]

Unlike the status of Welsh in Wales, Gaelic is not a compulsory subject in the vast majority of schools in Scotland and there are very few Gaelic-medium schools at all. Moreover, Gaelic has for some time been restricted geographically to areas of the Highlands and the Western Isles; the language suffered catastrophically as a result of the Highland Clearances in the eighteenth century. Nonetheless it remains a community language in some parts of Scotland, notably in the Hebrides, and it has left its mark on the English spoken there and in other parts of the country.

Scots dialect

Alongside Standard Scottish English, the local vernacular language, Scots, a dialect descended from Old English and closely related to Northumbrian dialects has maintained a strong presence, especially in rural communities. There has been heated debate among linguists for many years as to whether Scots constitutes a dialect or a distinct language in its own right. It has recently been officially classified as a ‘traditional language’ by the Scottish Executive and recognised by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, but even in Scotland experts remain divided over the issue. Whatever its status — language or dialect — large numbers of speakers would certainly claim to speak Scots, not English. Indeed Scots boasts a literary tradition dating back long before Robert Burns in the eighteenth century and still thriving today, as demonstrated by contemporary authors such as Irvine Welsh.[10,31]

In practice, the distinction between those who speak Scots and those who speak Standard Scottish English is rather blurred. In some cases we might instantly be able to categorise an individual according to which variety he or she speaks, but more often than not, perhaps particularly in urban areas, speakers tend to drift between the two alternatives depending on context. In other words, they might speak a version of Standard English with a local accent, but frequently use features that we associate with Scots, such as saying wee for ‘little’, or using grammatical constructions like does nae for ‘doesn’t’ or simply sprinkling their speech with isolated archaic pronunciations such as rhyminghouse with goose or head with heed.

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Предмет: Английский язык

Категория: Уроки

Целевая аудитория: 11 класс

Accents and Dialects of Scotland

Автор: Христолюбова Екатерина Дмитриевна

Дата: 09.01.2017

Номер свидетельства: 377033

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