Scottish Language In English

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1. Introduction According to the 2011 Census (Scotland), 94% of Scotland-born “feel Scottish”. They comprise three main, overlapping language communities: 1) those whose first language is Scottish English, or Educated Scottish Standard English, moreover, the majority of the population of modern Scotland are effectively bilingual; with about 99% of Scotland-born claiming native proficiency in English. 2) those whose first language, and often the main language of everyday communication, is Scots, though they may have to switch to English in formal contexts. 3) 1,1 % of Scottish population consider Scottish Gaelic as their mother tongue. The question is – how many Scots speak the Scots language. 2. The Scots language: historical backround…show more content…
Scots developed out of the Northumbrian dialect while Modern English came from the West Mercian, so they have a large set of shared features. Scots also has a vast, very distinct vocabulary, as well as unique grammatical rules. From the 12th century Scots (called at the time Inglis or Inglishe) became dominant in Scotland, gradually replacing Gaelic. Up until the 15th century it was not dissimilar to the language spoken in northern England, but by the 16th century it had become so different that it became referred to as Scottis or Scots. After the Union of Crowns in 1606, and especially after the Act of Union in 1707 written Scots fell under the spell of the Standard English of southern England (Scots is still to develop a standardized orthography). For some time written English and spoken Scottis existed in a form of bilingualism. Eventually, however, Scots was not able to compete with the more powerful sister language. By the end of the 18th century English had become the language of state used in public life, while Scots’ was regarded as a vernacular. By the middle of the 20th century Scots had been stigmatised as a deviant, non-standard, form of English spoken by less educated…show more content…
However, for many Scots, particularly in urban areas, their language might contain a mixture of English with remains of a Scots grammatical structure. All this leads to a denigration of the status of Scots and the frequent accusation that the language is merely an inferior version of English. Even linguists do not all agree about whether Scots is a dialect or a close sister language of English. The disagreement among linguists is mainly due to the fact that what is presented as or claimed to be Scots is so variable. Unfortunately, in Scotland, spoken dialects of Scots are often termed ‘English’ when their historical origin shows that they are not this, though admittedly influenced by English. Moreover, there is no official standardised orthography and many Scottish people tend to use Scottish English, pepper it with Scots words and some Scots structures in informal situations, and call it Scots. Nonetheless, if Scots were in a healthy state and its development uncurtailed over the last couple of centuries, then nobody would even be asking the question about whether it is a distinct language or not: it is more a question of political

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