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History of Scottish English

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«History of Scottish English»

History of Scottish English

Northumbrian Old English had been established in what is now southeastern Scotland as far as the River Forth by the seventh century, as the region was part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. It remained largely confined to this area until the thirteenth century, continuing in common use while Gaelic was the language of the Scottish court. [4,54]The succeeding variety of Early northern Middle English spoken in southeastern Scotland, also known as Early Scots, began to diverge from that of  Northumbria due to twelfth and thirteenth century immigration of Scandinavian-influenced Middle English-speakers from the North and Midlands of England. Later influences on the development of Scots were from Romance languages via ecclesiastical and legal Latin, Norman French and later Parisian French due to the Auld Alliance as well as Dutch and Middle Low German influences due to trade and immigration from the Low Countries.[1,62] Scots also includes loan words resulting from contact with Gaelic. Early medieval legal documents include a body of Gaelic legal and administrative loans. Contemporary Gaelic loans are mainly for geographical and cultural features, such as ceilidhloch and clan.[10,62]

From the thirteenth century Early Scots spread further into Scotland via the burghs, proto-urban institutions which were first established by King David I. The growth in prestige of Early Scots in the fourteenth century, and the complementary decline of French in Scotland, made Scots the prestige languageof most of eastern Scotland. By the sixteenth century Middle Scots had established orthographic and literary norms largely independent of those developing in England. From 1610 to the 1690s during the Plantation of Ulster large numbers of Scots-speaking Lowlanders, some 200,000, settled there. In the core areas of Scots settlement, Scots outnumbered English settlers by five or six to one. Modern Scots is used to describe the language after 1700 when southern Modern English was generally adopted as the literary language though Scots remained the vernacular.Before the Treaty of Union 1707, when Scotland and England joined to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, there is ample evidence that Scots was widely held to be an independent sister language forming a pluricentric diasystem with English.

The linguist Heinz Kloss considered Modern Scots a Halbsprache (half language) in terms of anabstand and ausbau languages framework although today, in Scotland, most people's speech is somewhere on a continuum ranging from traditional broad Scots to Scottish Standard English. Many speakers are either diglossic and/or able to code-switch along the continuum depending on the situation in which they find themselves.[10,31] Where on this continuum English-influenced Scots becomes Scots-influenced English is difficult to determine. Because standard English now generally has the role of a Dachsprache, disputes often arise as to whether the varieties of Scots are dialects of Scottish English or constitute a separate language in their own right.

The UK government now accepts Scots as a regional language and has recognised it as such under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Notwithstanding the UK government's and the Scottish Executive's obligations under part II of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the Scottish Executive recognises and respects Scots (in all its forms) as a distinct language, and does not consider the use of Scots to be an indication of poor competence in English.

Evidence for its existence as a separate language lies in the extensive body of Scots literature, its independent – if somewhat fluid – orthographic conventions and in its former use as the language of the original Parliament of Scotland. Because Scotland retained distinct political, legal, and religious systems after the Union, many Scots terms passed into Scottish English.[7,29]

From the mid-sixteenth century, written Scots was increasingly influenced by the developing Standard English of Southern England due to developments in royal and political interactions with England. When an English herald spoke to Mary of Guise and her councillors in 1560, at first they spoke in the "Scottyshe toung", but then he "not well understanding", they continued in her native French King James VI, who in 1603 became King James I of England, observed in his work The Reulis and Cautelis to be observit and eschewit in Scottis Prosethat "For albeit sindrie has written of it in Engish, quhilk is lykest to our language ..." however, with the increasing influence and availability of books printed in England, most writing in Scotland came to be done in the English fashion. After King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, the Protestant Church of Scotland adopted the 1611 Authorized King James Version of the Bible; subsequently, the Acts of Union 1707 led to England joining Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, having a single Parliament of Great Britain based in London. After the Union and the shift of political power to England, the use of Scots was discouraged by many in authority and education, as was the notion of Scottishness itself. Many leading Scots of the period, such as David Hume, considered themselves Northern British rather than Scottish. They attempted to rid themselves of their Scots in a bid to establish standard English as the official language of the newly formed union. Nevertheless, Scots was still spoken across a wide range of domains until the end of the seventeenth century, illustrated for example, in the summary by Frederick Pottle, James Boswell's twentieth-century biographer, concerning James's view of the speech habits of his father Alexander Boswell, a judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland:"He scorned modern literature, spoke broad Scots from the bench, and even in writing took no pains to avoid the Scotticisms which most of his colleagues were coming to regard as vulgar." Others did however scorn Scots, such as intellectuals from the Scottish Enlightenment like David Hume and Adam Smith, who went to great lengths to get rid of every Scotticism from their writings. Following such examples, many well-off Scots took to learning English through the activities of those such as Thomas Sheridan, who in 1761 gave a series of lectures on English elocution. Charging a guinea at a time (about £100 in today's money,) they were attended by over 300 men, and he was made a freeman of the City ofEdinburgh. Following this, some of the city's intellectuals formed the Select Society for Promoting the Reading and Speaking of the English Language in Scotland. From such eighteenth-century activities grew Scottish Standard English.[51] Scots remained the vernacular of many rural communities and the growing number of urban working-class Scots. [12,37]

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the use of Scots as a literary language was revived by several prominent Scotsmen such as Robert Burns. Such writers established a new cross-dialect literary norm.

During the first half of the twentieth century, knowledge of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary norms waned, and currently there is no institutionalised standard literary form. By the 1940s, the Scottish Education Department's language policy was that Scots had no value: "...it is not the language of 'educated' people anywhere, and could not be described as a suitable medium of education or culture". Students reverted to Scots outside the classroom, but the reversion was not complete. What occurred, and has been occurring ever since, is a process of language attrition, whereby successive generations have adopted more and more features from Standard English. This process has accelerated rapidly since widespread access to mass media in English and increased population mobility became available after the Second World War. [5,11]It has recently taken on the nature of wholesale language shift, sometimes also termed language change, convergence or merger. By the end of the twentieth century, Scots was at an advanced stage of language death over much of Lowland Scotland. Residual features of Scots are often regarded as slang. A Scottish Government study in 2010 found that 64% of respondents (being a representative sample of Scotland's adult population) "don't really think of Scots as a language", however, "the most frequent speakers are least likely to agree that it is not a language (58%) and those never speaking Scots most likely to do so (72%)".


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History of Scottish English

Автор: Ливадина Ирина Борисовна

Дата: 09.01.2017

Номер свидетельства: 377039

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