Chapter

History, including changes in progress

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623167.003.0067
History, including changes in progress

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This chapter returns to the linguistic history of the region, paying particular attention to the effects of language contact and language shift. It shows that the dialects of northern Scotland and of the Northern Isles are fairly well preserved — at least in comparison with the traditional dialects of central Scotland. But this should not be taken as an invitation for self-satisfaction. The effects of the inclusion of these areas into a globalised culture and economy have been considerable and have already led to a significant loss of traditional usage — in sound, lexis and structure — which was in daily use until very recently. There is also a danger that some aspects of dialect use — such as their employment in cultural activities — may heritigise the local dialect, sundering it from its former everyday use.

Keywords: language contact; language shift; Scots dialects; Northern Scots; Insular Scots; language use

Chapter.  13441 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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