USAGE: Scots (was: Immigrants' Effect on English)
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 13, 2002, 5:25|
> Reminds me of something I always wanted to ask: what is the difference between
> "Scots" and "Scottish English"?
Well, Scots is a separate descendant of Old English, with its own
morphosyntax, phonology, writing conventions, and so on. Until about
1600, this is uncontroversial. After that, Scots became less and less
used for "high" purposes and pushed into the purely colloquial role,
being displaced for literary, legal, and such like purposes by Standard
English, or various approximations to it. Now we have a diglossic
situation in Scotland with many people speaking Scots at home
and Scots-flavored English ("Scottish English") everywhere else.
It's pretty much like the situation in Italy, where there are various
local dialects which are really separate languages, and then there
are varieties of Italian which are influenced by those dialects
and spoken in the same regions.
The Scots literary tradition never died, though, and got a big
boost in the late 20th century by the translation of the New Testament
into Scots (only the Devil speaks Standard English).
There is / One art John Cowan <jcowan@...>
No more / No less http://www.reutershealth.com
To do / All things http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
With art- / Lessness -- Piet Hein