Robert McColl Millar

in Northern and Insular Scots

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623167
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651528 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This chapter illustrates the lexical richness and diversity of the dialects of northern Scotland and the Northern Isles in comparison with the more southerly dialects of Scots. This richness and diversity can be derived from the fact that the region acts as a relict area for usage which in earlier varieties of Scots was much more widespread; part of this retention can be explained by the survival of traditional social patterns and occupations. Indeed, much of the distinctive lexis refers to these practices and occupations. Moreover, as is the case with mountainous regions of Norway, Italy or Afghanistan, the terrain encourages small-scale linguistic distinctiveness. The local dialects have come into more intense contact with other languages than other Scots varieties; this close contact has inevitably encouraged the local vocabulary to become significantly different from that found elsewhere.

Keywords: Scots dialects; Northern Scots; Insular Scots; lexical use; vocabulary

Chapter.  9341 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.