Scottish English

Definition and Characteristics of Scottish English
– Scottish English is a set of English language varieties spoken in Scotland.
– The standardized variety is called Scottish Standard English (SSE).
– SSE is the accepted norm in schools and characteristic of the professional class.
– Scottish English has distinct pronunciation, grammar, and expressions.
– It also has unique vocabulary related to Scottish institutions.

Relationship with Scots
– Scottish English resulted from language contact between Scots and Standard English.
– Scots-speakers shifted to English usage, resulting in phonological compromises and lexical transfers.
– Scottish English may be influenced by Scots to varying degrees.
– Scots and Scottish English are often considered different registers.
– Some speakers code switch between Scots and Scottish English, while others style shift.

Historical Background
– The influence of English on Scots can be traced back to the 16th-century Reformation and the introduction of printing.
– The court poets’ move to London in the 17th century led to the eclipse of Scots as a literary language.
– The Acts of Union in 1707 amalgamated the Scottish and English Parliaments, but certain structures remained separate.
– This resulted in professional distinctions and different definitions of words in Scottish English.
– Hypercorrections, interdialectal forms, and spelling pronunciations also influenced the language.

Phonological Features of Scottish English
– Scottish English is mostly rhotic, with /r/ pronounced in the syllable coda.
– The phoneme /r/ can be a postalveolar approximant [ɹ], an alveolar flap [ɾ], or an alveolar trill [r].
– Scottish English distinguishes between the vowels in ‘fern,’ ‘fir,’ and ‘fur.’
– /o/ and /ɔ/ are contrasted before /r/, resulting in different pronunciations of words like ‘hoarse’ and ‘horse.’
– There is a distinction between /w/ and /hw/ in words like ‘witch’ and ‘which.’

Scotticisms, Lexical Features, and Grammatical Features
– Scotticisms are idioms or expressions characteristic of Scots, especially when used in English.
– Scottish English has inherited lexical items from Scots that are less common in other forms of standard English.
– Diminutives, such as adding ‘-ie’ to words like ‘bairn’ to become ‘bairnie,’ are particularly common among older generations and when speaking to children.
– Scottish English uses progressive verb forms more frequently than other varieties of standard English, even with stative verbs.
– The future progressive form often implies an assumption, such as ‘You’ll be coming from Glasgow?’
– The definite article is used more frequently in phrases like ‘I’ve got the cold’ or ‘he’s at the school.’
– Scottish English speakers use prepositions differently, such as using ‘off of’ instead of just ‘off.’
– Modal verbs like ‘shall’ and ‘ought’ are scarce, and ‘must’ is marginal for obligation.Sources: