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USAGE: Scots (was: Immigrants' Effect on English)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Saturday, July 13, 2002, 5:25
=?iso-8859-1?q?Jan=20van=20Steenbergen?= scripsit:

> 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 To do / All things With art- / Lessness -- Piet Hein