Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scots: not slang but a dialect

A new initiative in Scotland to educate people in the history of the Scots dialect (or language if you're being nationalistic about it) is reported on in today's Herald. While Scots may seem a bit distant from south London, it's always good to look at  different varieties of English to build up a better understanding of the whole topic of Language Variation in ENGA3, plus many of the same issues crop up whatever variety you look at.

Is Scots just a broken, slang form of Standard English? No, and if you say that in Scotland you'll probably get a purple tin of Tenants Extra smacked in your face. Is it a dialect or a language? Well, that's trickier and it depends on what you define as a dialect. These questions and others are addressed on a new website from Learning and Teaching Scotland which looks at the history of Scots, attitudes to its use and examples of it being used. It's a very informative site and you can find it here.

No comments: