Saturday, 31 October 2009

Around Orkney

Now for something special. If you have ever wondered what a re-functionalised Scots used in high registers might sound like, a tantalising foretaste is provided by the BBC Scotland opt-out Around Orkney. It must be stressed here that the language used is neither traditional literary Scots based on the Central dialect nor the full-on Orkney tongue, which — unlike Ulster Scots — differs from it markedly. Rather it represents the furthest extent to which native speakers from a peripheral, egalitarian and cohesive society are willing to adapt their speech to formal written language. The non-standard elements that remain are panlectal Scots and can be heard every day not only in the Northern Isles but everywhere from Aberdeenshire to Donegal.

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