Some Reflections on the Language of Contemporary Scottish Prose
Keywords:Scots, Scottish English, literature, standard Scots
A northern variety of Old English developed in Scotland into what has become known as Scots. This language of the Scottish court and literature prior to the Acts of Union was abandoned by both king and poets after the Union with England. English replaced Scots in public institutions, to schools and literature. The most fatal development was the change of attitude of the Scottish themselves, who came to regard Scots as an inferior variety of English. There have been repeated attempts by Scottish writers, to revive Scots as a national language of Scotland. Since the 1970s a number of projects have been launched to study the present state of Scots with the aim of initiating a language policy which would reintroduce Scots into public life as one of the national languages of Scotland. A number of Scottish authors have used Scots in their works. This paper will examine the language of some contemporary prose texts seeking to establish the density of Scots elements and estimate their place on the scale between Standard Scottish English and Scots, which may be one of the means of establishing an acceptable standard variety.
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