[lg policy] Scotland’s Languages

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Sat Aug 18 11:22:33 EDT 2018


 Scotland’s Languages
TRACS Language Policy

Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland is committed to recognising and
supporting all of Scotland’s languages, and to welcoming Scotland’s
multilingual identity, through English, Gaelic, Scots and other minority
languages.

Gaelic, Scots and English are Scotland’s three surviving historic
languages. While many other languages are spoken in Scotland today, Scots
and Gaelic are special because if their use were to cease here, where they
are rooted, they would effectively become extinct.
Scottish Gaelic

The Gaelic language is a powerful symbol of Scotland’s unique heritage and
provides enduring linguistic and cultural links to other nations in the
British Isles and beyond.

Its speakers number less than two percent of today’s national population
but differs from many minority languages because it was once the national
tongue; the primary language of power and influence.

The historical marginalisation of Gaelic, both politically and
geographically, is understood (and lamented) by Gaelic speakers, but not
always by those who don’t speak the language or the misapprehension that
Gaelic was always a marginal element in Scottish life.

Scots

Scots is used by hundreds of thousands of people in their daily lives,
intangibly connected to Scotland’s culture.

Modern Scots is a Germanic language, descended, like modern English, from
Old English.

>From the 11th century, as the feudal system established in England by the
Normans was adopted by the Scottish kings, immigrants from Northern England
brought their Danish-influenced speech.

Over the next four centuries trading and political links with Scandinavia,
the Low Countries, France and other parts of Europe shaped the language.

Listen to Scots podcasts on a wide range of subjects at Scots Radio
<http://www.scotsradio.com/>


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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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