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Re: [edlug] Ubuntu in Scots

On 2 Mar 2007, at 17:32, Kevin Davidson wrote:

On 2 Mar 2007, at 15:58, Craig Webster wrote:


I'm no linguistics expert (which is odd in my family), but Scots is older than Inglis (English). Obviously they're both related, but Scots has more of the Germanic roots left.

Not really sure what that is supposed to mean or prove. The language brought over by the Angles and the Saxons is West Germanic, as opposed to the North Germanic tongue of the Vikings, who had some influence on Northumbrian, which in turn is one of the major sources of Scots. So, just off the cuff, Scots is West Germanic with perhaps more of an admixture of North Germanic (more precisely, Old Norse, if I recall correctly) than is the case in modern English. Both Scots and English trace their roots to the ancient incursions from the European mainland, so there aren't really any prizes for which has more Germanic roots.

(By the way, the North-Germanic-speaking Vikings also had a say in the development of the languages of the north and west of Scotland, especially the isles and coastal regions. Even today a speaker of Danish can recognize sufficient vocabulary in the Gaelic of the west coast to get the gist of a conversation.)

There's an interesting and thought-provoking article by David Crystal on minority languages which I read ages ago; fortunately, The Guardian has archived it so it hasn't died out:


Scotland is a sufficiently clearly defined locus -- and has a sufficiently large population base -- for the Scots language to survive as a spoken and a written, in contrast to dialects in England, which are more readily assimilated to standard English (despite the acceptance of regional accents -- lovely phrase -- in recent years). Proper Lancky, for example, pretty well died out with my grandmother's generation.


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