122223 SE Linguistics Seminar / BA Paper (2019W)
- Registration is open from Th 12.09.2019 00:00 to Mo 23.09.2019 23:59
- Deregistration possible until Th 31.10.2019 23:59
Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N
In the medieval period, until 1603, it can be convincingly claimed that Scots (what linguists nowadays refer to as Middle Scots) was a fully-fledged linguistic system, which functioned quite independently of Middle English, as the language of an independent nation state. Many texts in Middle Scots have survived, included parliamentary as well as municipal documents, and a powerful body of fine poetry, arguably the best between Chaucer and Shakespeare. Middle Scots developed out of northern Anglo-Scandinavian Early Middle English, with which it shared many features, so that for some linguists Middle Scots and Middle English never fully diverged. After the Union of the Crowns in 1603, followed by the Union of Parliaments in 1707, Scots underwent a process of asymmetrical convergence with English, with (by now relatively standardized) English gradually becoming the ‘high’ language for all official purposes. Scots remained a vigorous spoken tongue, the vehicle of a rich folk culture. However, in the eighteenth century Scots came to be revived as a literary language and that literary register has been copiously and richly sustained right up to the present day. It was as a literary language that Scots almost certainly gained recognition in 2001 under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Scots accents, however, have retained their separateness of system, accompanying the imported standardised English as well as local dialect or folk speech. For one leading authority, Scots has been “more than a dialect but less than a language”. For another it is a Halbsprache. Thus, in the present-day, some people consider that they still speak some variety of traditional Scots, but which has become influenced or bound up with standard English in written registers and formal spoken discourse situations. For others, it is Scottish English that they both speak and write, albeit to varying degrees with substratal influences from traditional Scots
Thus the status of Scots throughout its development and right up to the present day will be a recurrent theme of this seminar. As evidence for its status, a great many literary and also non-literary texts as well as corpora and online material will be used. An abiding theme will be the identification of the languageness or dialecticity of Scots.
Aims, contents and method of the course
Assessment and permitted materials
Minimum requirements and assessment criteria
BA assignment arising from one of them worth 55
The set books will be _The Edinburgh Companion to Scots_, edited by John Corbett, J. Derrick McClure & Jane Stuart-Smith (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003), and Robert McColl Millar, _Modern Scots: An Analytical Survey_ (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018). Further reading will be recommended topic by topic. There will be regular home work.
Association in the course directory
Code/Modul: UF 4.2.3-222, BA06.2