University of Düsseldorf
This book is intended as a concise and up-to-date introduction to Modern Scots, much in the vein of the classical, but now somewhat outdated textbooks by Grant & Main-Dixon (1921) and Wilson (1926). Scots is often regarded as one end of a dialect continuum that has English Standard English at the opposite end and Scottish Standard English somewhere in the middle. There do seem to be (sociolinguistic) reasons, though, for treating Modern Scots as an independent language system, rather than as a dialect of English. Nevertheless, Modern Scots lives in close contact with English and is (linguistically and ideologically) strongly influenced by it, so that there is (still) an eminent danger of erosion and loss, despite Scots being increasingly used in literature and the media (as, for example, in Irvine Welsh's 'Trainspotting'). Outside literature, Modern Scots can be most frequently heard in Glasgow, parts of the Scottish Borders, and Aberdeenshire.
This study starts off with a brief sketch of the history of Scots and its present geo- and sociolinguistic situation. Further chapters deal with the phonology and orthography of Scots, its morphology, syntax, and lexicon.
Furthermore, it offers a brief introduction into features of stylistic variation and discourse management in Scots. Throughout the text a large number of examples from both literature and real life Scots are given. Three short sample texts, a list of internet resources and a comprehensive bibliography conclude this volume.
ISBN 9783895863172. Languages of the World/Materials 242. 80pp. 2nd edition. 2005.