1423Re: [Stonehaven_Genealogy] WEEKLY UPDATE JUNE 02, 2002
- Jun 2, 2002Dear James,
I have not written to the message board before but I
feel I must to save any confusion regarding your
information on the Scottish dialect.
An accent is the sound of a spoken language, the way
people pronounce words. A dialect of a language is the
distinctive local vocabulary and non standard grammar
of a region.
Scottish Gaelic is not a dialect of English. It is a
language in it's own right totally unconnected to
English. It has a longer history in the British Isles
and was spoken throughout Britain until the
Anglo-Saxon invasion in what is now England and
Southern Scotland. Gaelic remained a major language of
Scotland until it was suppressed by the English in the
17th century. Up until then many Scots had been
bi-lingual. The English banned Gaelic along with other
aspects of our culture, people were hung for speaking
it. Even though today it is no longer illegal to speak
Gaelic, it still does not receive any official status
by the Government. For example Government documents
may be obtained in a variety of languages including
Welsh, Urdu, and Hindi but not Gaelic. The law which
banned teaching in Gaelic and teaching Scottish
history has only recently been repealed. Please
remember that history is written by the victors and
Gaelic is often disregarded as a minority language of
the highlands when it was much more than this.
Scots have for a long time suffered criticism for our
accents and dialects and for a while the only way to
'get on' was to lose the accent. However this is true
for many regional English accents as well.
The advent of better transport systems and the English
Public School system created for the first time a
standard English accent known as received
pronunciation (or BBC English)to which many education
people aspired (not just from Scotland). Television
and mass communications acts as a 'dialect leveller'
and most regional accents are no longer as pronounced
as they once were. However, it would be wrong to give
the impression that educated Scots are ashamed of our
accents and dialects for I can assure you, we are not.
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>