'sexy' scots accent

Aaron E. Drews aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Fri Jun 23 18:30:32 UTC 2000

On Fri, 23 Jun 2000, Lynne Murphy wrote:

}>From the UK newspaper _The Guardian_ -- a story on the appeal of the
}Scottish accent (and the question of whether such a thing exists):

Why do you think I'm doing my PhD here?!?!  :-)

Just because a national variety has a lot of regional variation and does
not have a centralised standard, does not mean that "There is no such
thing as the Scottish accent."  North America doesn't have a centralised
standard, yet folks here can easily point out somebody from there. Both
dialects (is it safe to use the word this time, Rudy?) with all of
their regional varieties have a respective common core.

Having said that, there are two standards in Scotland.  One _is_
centralised: RP.  The other has more regional variation, but there is a
common core of phonology.  There's also influence from Scots that varies
with regional variety and social variety.

Am I getting too upset at a non-linguist trying to describe language in
non-technical terms?

The accent attributed to Edinburgh is usually associated with one
particular (er, posh) neighbo(u)rhood of the city.  Glaswegians tend to
associate that variety (and all of the social baggage attached to it) to
all of Edinburgh.  The neighborhood is called Morningside.  That's also
the name of a very rough neighborhood where I grew up, and I just can't
shake some of the fear attached to the name.


Aaron E. Drews                               The University of Edinburgh
aaron at ling.ed.ac.uk                  Departments of English Language and
http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~aaron       Theoretical & Applied  Linguistics


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