Middle Scots as an emerging standard and why it did not make it
Joanna Bugaj (Poznañ)
The aim of the present paper is to trace linguistic standardisation on the territory of Scotland. The initial stage of the process can be dated back to the first half of the sixteenth century, when Scots, the then prestigeous national variety stemming from the Old Northumbrian of the Scottish Lowlands, was in its prime and flourished in a range of registers and literary uses. It was used in administration and legal activities (Acts of Parliament, burgh records, court proceedings) as well as in literature, in many different styles and genres. Scots was at that time a potential standard which could have completed all the neccessary criteria, had the political and social circumstances been different. Therefore, in this paper the applicability of Haugen’s criteria for a standard to the sixteenth-century Scots is going to be tested. The discussion of the unfulfilled criteria will concentrate on the reasons for Scots not becoming a “fully-fledged” standard and on the role of English in the displacement of this developing standard in Scotland.
Adamson, S. – V. Law – S. Wright (eds.). 1990. Papers from the 5th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Agutter, Alex. 1990. “Restandardisation in Middle Scots”, in S. Adamson, V. Law and S. Wright (eds.), 1-11.
Aitken, Adam J. 1979. “Scottish speech: a historical view with special reference to the Standard English of Scotland”, in Adam J. Aitken and Tom McArthur (eds.), 85-99.
Aitken, Adam J. – Tom McArthur (eds.). 1979. Languages of Scotland. Edinburgh: Chambers.
Bald, Marjorie. 1928. “Contemporary references to the Scottish speech of the sixteenth century”, Scottish Historical Review 25: 163-179.
Bugaj, Joanna. 2002. Aspects of the inflectional system in the south-west of Scotland: the Middle Scots period. [Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznañ].
Görlach, Manfred. 2002. A textual history of Scots. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag C. Winter.
Haugen, Einar. 1966 . “Dialect, language, nation”, in: J. Pride and J. Holmes (eds.)
Jones, Charles (ed.). 1997. The Edinburgh history of Older Scots. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Leith, Dick. 1983. A social history of English. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Meurman-Solin, Anneli. 1997. “Differentiation and standardisation in early Scots”, in Charles Jones (ed.), 3-22.
Pride, J. − J. Holmes. 1972. Sociolinguistics: selected readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin.