Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Contrarian times


The Englishman and Shuggie don't normally agree, but they agree that Scots is a dialect of English. It isn't really. At least, not of mainstream English. It developed from northern Anglo Saxon independently of the southern English language. That's because the Anglo Saxon settlements stretched deep into modern Scotland.

So can we have that land back? After all, if it was Anglo once, it should be forever Anglo.

UPDATE: Right Wing Prof, a proper linguist, has posted about the difference between Scots, Scots English and English here. Recommended read.


getting very cross about the idea that the families of dead terrorists should be paid compensation along with their victims. The problem is that this equivalence is the whole basis of the current peace* in Northern Ireland. It's what allows former terrorists to be ministers of state over there.

If anyone is paid compensation, and I'm not sure why they should be, then the existing logic means they all should be.

* I decided not to use scare quotes for this word. But it isn't really peace. It's just a more acceptable level of violence than the last one.


Unknown said...

It seems that they're confused, which is understandable. Scots and Scots English are two, entirely different things. While the line between language and lect is nearly always fuzzy, it's hard to make a case that Scots is a dialect of English. Teaching it in schools is, of course, an independent issue.

Thus spoke your linguist reader.

Anonymous said...

On the principle that a language is a dialect with an army, the variety of English spoken Oop North should really have been called Transtweed Scots, or Subsark Scots, or something like that, at least until 1707.