Scots leid: Wast Germanic leid frae Scotland

Scots (or Lallans, Inglis translation lowlands or Scots; lawland Scots, Scots Gaelic: Beurla Ghallta/Albais) is a Wast Germanic leid o tha Anglic varietie that's spaken on tha Lawlands o Scotland an en tha stewartrie o Ulster en Ireland (whaur it's kent as Ulster-Scots, Scotch, or Ullans) an tha leids o Scots Wiki Scots.

En maist airts, it is spaken anent tha an Inglis leid.

(Braid) Scots, Lallans
Native taeUnitit Kinrick, Republic o Ireland
RegionScotland: Scots Lawlands, Northren Isles, Caithness, Arran an Cammeltoun
Ulster (Ireland): Coonties Doun, Antrim, Derry an Donegal
Native speakers
110,000–125,000 (1999–2011)
1.5 million L2 speakers.
In the 2011 census, respondents indicatit that 1.54 million (30%) are able tae speak Scots.
Early forms
Offeecial status
Offeecial leid in
Recognised minority
leid in
Regulatit biScotland: Nane, altho the Dictionar o the Scots Leid carries muckle authoritie in the Scots Govrenment's Partnership for a Better Scotland coalition agreement (2003) promises "support"..
Ireland: Nane, altho the cross-border Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch, established aes an ootcome o the Guid Friday Greeance, promotes ussage.
Leid codes
ISO 639-2sco
ISO 639-3sco
Linguasphere52-ABA-aa (varieties:
52-ABA-aaa to -aav)
Scots leid: Scrieved Scots eedit, Some graimmar featurs eedit, Hamelt leids eedit, See foreby eedit
Auries whaur the Scots leid wis spoken in the 20t century

Up til tha 15t yeirhunder Scottis (modern furm Scots) wis the name o the Gallic, the Celtic leid o the aunshint Scots. Thaim that bruikit Scots cried tha Gaelic Erse (meinin Irish). Tha Gallic o Scotland is noo maistly cried the Scots Gallic an is yit spaken bi sum en tha western Scots Hielands an ilands. Fur tha maist pairt, Scots originatit fae tha Northumbrian variety o Anglo-Saxon (Auld Inglis), tho wi a meikle influence fae the Auld Norse o the Vikings, the Dutch an law Saxon thro troke wi (an incummers fae) tha law kintras, an tha Romance fae itse uise in the Kirk an legal Latin, Anglo-Norman an possibly Pairisian French cause o the Auld Alliance.

Anglian spikkers wir weil staiblisht in sooth-eist Scotland bi tha 7t yeirhunder. In tha 13t yeirhunder Norman launainers an thair reteiners, speakin Northumbrian Middil Inglis, war bade tae cum an sattil bi tha King. Scots kyth'd fer tha first tym en scrieved form en tha mids o tha 14t yeirhunder an didnae differ mukkil fae ither northren Inglis byleids. The Anglian leid o Scotland gra an its ain sinsyn. Bi tha lat 15t yeirhunder tha sicht fowk haed o tha differs wi tha leid spaken faurder sooth cam til tha fore an Scots-spikkin Scots begoud tae crie thair leid "Scots". Scots haes lend-wirds fae tha fak thit tha Scots fowk haed contak wi Gaelic spikkers. Thair lend-wirds is fer ordinair anerlì fer geographical an cultural hings, sik as clan an loch. Lyk onì leivin leid, Scots haes chynged ae bittie ower tha yeirs, tho hit haes arguablì stey'd naurer til its Anglo-Saxon springheid nor Inglis. Monie Scots wirds hae becum pairt o the Inglis ava: flit, greed, eerie, cuddle, clan, stob.

In Scotland's census o 2011, ae speir on Scots wis speired.

Scrieved Scots eedit

Mony writers the noo evyts apostrophes whaur thay ar thocht tae shaw letters thit's "missin" fae Ingles (the apologetic apostrophe). Sikna letters niver war missin in Scots at aw. For exemple, in the twalt yeirhunner, Barbour spelt the Scots cognate o taken as 'tane'. Hæin been nae k in the wird for mair nor 700 yeir, shawin the want o't wi ae apostrophe coud be caa'd specious. The modren spellin is for ordinair 'taen'. Vouel nummers is fae Aitken an the phonetics is en IPA. Maugre the establisht tradeetional spellin conventions descrived ablo, durin the twantiet yeirhunner ae wheen o propones fur spellin reform wis pitten forrit. Commentin on sicweys, John Corbett (2003: 260) writes thit "devisin ae normativ ortografee fer Scots haes been waen o the grattest linguestic hobbies o the past centuair." An writin anent the affcome o thon in Lallans 57, Caroline Macafee merkit that spellin reform "haes had the effeck o caain doun the kynd-o-a staudartisation that aareadie existin" an that "Spellin haes gotten tae be ae free-fur-aw, wi the tradeetional model bemeanit, an nae populair replacement" leadin til mair speelin variation, nae less.

Consonants eedit

Maist consonants is fer ordinair soondit sic n sae as en Inglis bit:

  • c: /k/ or /s/, as en Inglis.
  • ch: /x/, gh an aw. Medial 'cht' micht be /ð/ in Northren dialects. loch, nicht, dochter, dreich, etc. Seemilar til the German "Nacht".
  • ch: waird ineetial or whaur it follaes 'r' /tʃ/. airch, mairch, etc.
  • ck: at the end o a silable n whan intervocaleec efter ae cuttie vouel e.g. bick, geck, muckle, ruck, etc.
  • gn: /n/. In Northren dialects /ɡn/ micht kythe.
  • kn: /n/. In Northren dialects /kn/ or /tn/ micht kythe. knap knee, knowe, etc.
  • ng: is aye /ŋ/.
  • nch: fer ordinair /nʃ/. brainch, dunch, etc.
  • r: /r/ or /ɹ/ is pronoonced in aw positions, i.e. rhoteeclie.
  • s or se: /s/ or /z/.
  • t: micht be ae glottal stap atween vouels or waird final. En Ulster dentalised soondins micht kythe an aw, even fer 'd'.
  • th: /ð/ or /θ/ as is Inglis. En Mid Northren varieties n intervocallic /ð/ micht be soondit /d/. Initial 'th' en thing, think and thank, etc. micht be /h/.
  • wh: fer ordinair /ʍ/, aulder /xʍ/. Northren byleids haes /f/ an aw.
  • wr: /wr/ mair aften /r/ bit micht be /vr/ en Northern byleids. wrack, wrang, write, wrocht, etc.
  • z: /jɪ/ or /ŋ/, micht kythe en som wirds aes ae substitute fer the aulder <ȝ> (yoch). Fer example: brulzie, gaberlunzie n the names Menzies, Finzean, Culzean, Mackenzie etc. (Aes aen affcome o the want o edducation in Scots, Mackenzie is nou generally soondit wi ae /z/ follaein the perceeved soondin o the scrieved form, aes mair controversial is whiles Menzies.)

Seelent letters eedit

  • The wird final 'd' in nd n ld bit aften soodit in derived forms. Whiles jist 'n' n 'l' or 'n'' n 'l'' e.g. auld n haund etc., aes en the Dens leid.
  • 't' en medial cht ('ch' = /x/) n st n afore final en e.g. fochten, thristle n the 't' in aften etc. an aw., as in Inglis.
  • 't' en wird final ct n pt bit aften soondit en derived forms e.g. respect n accept etc.

Vouels eedit

Fer ae histereecal luikower see the Phonologeecal histerie o Scots.

The vouel seestem o Scots (in IPA):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 8a 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1. Generally merges wi vouels 2, 4 or 8.

2. Merges wi vouels 1 an 8. in central dialects
  an vowel 2 in Northren dialects.
  Also /(j)u/ or /(j)ʌ/ afore /k/ an /x/ dependin on dialect.
3. Vocalisation tae /o/ micht kythe afore /k/.
4. Antrin mergers wi vouel 5.

cuttie /əi/
lang /aɪ/
/i/ /e, i/1 /e/ /o/ /u/ /ø/2 /eː/ /əi/ /oe/ /əi/ /iː/ /ɑː, ɔː/ /ʌu/3 /ju/ /ɪ/ /ɛ/ /ɑ, a/ /ɔ/4 /ʌ/

En Scots, vouel length is fer ordinair condeetiont bi the Scots Vouel Lenth Rule. Wirds that differ jist ae bittie en soondin fae Scots Ingils is fer ordinair spelt aes en Ingils. Ither wirds micht be spelt the same wa bit differ en soondin, fer ensaumple: aunt, swap, want n wash wi /a/, bull, full v. n pull wi /ʌ/, bind, find n wind v., etc. wi /ɪ/.

  • The onstrest vouel /ə/ micht be shawn bi onie vouel letter.
  • a (vowel 17): fer ordinair /ɑ/, aften /ɑː/ en sooth wast n Ulster byleids, bit /aː/ en Northren byleids. Maurk final a (vouel 12) en awa, twa an wha micht be /ɑː/, /ɔː/, /aː/ or /eː/ an aw depending on the byleid.
  • au, aw (vouel 12) /ɑː/ or /ɔː/ en Soothren, Central n Ulster byleids bit /aː/ in Northren bileids, wi au fer ordinair in medial poseetions n aw in final poseetions. Sometimes a or a' representin L-vocalisation. The digraph aa kythes an aw, speciallie in scrieved representations o the (/aː/) soondin in Northren n Insular byleids. The cluster 'auld' micht be /ʌul/ in Ulster an aw, e.g. aw, cauld, braw, faw, snaw, etc.
  • ai (vouel 8) en ineetial n medial poseetions n a(consonant)e (vowel 4). The graphemes ae (vouel 4) n ay (vouel 8) fer ordinair in final poseetions. Aw generallie /e(ː)/. Aften /ɛ/ afore /r/. The merger o vouel 8 wi 4 haes resultit in the digraph ai occurrin en some wairds wi vouel 4 n a(consonant)e occurrin in some wairds wi vouel 8, e.g. saip, hale, ane, ance, bane, etc. n waird final brae n day etc. The digraph ae kythes fer vouel 7 an aw en dae, tae v. an shae. En Northren byleids the vouel en the cluster 'ane' is aften /i/ n efter /w/ n daurk /l/ the soondin /əi/ micht kythe. En Sooth Scots n monie Central n Ulster varieties ae, ane n ance micht be soondit /jeː/, /jɪn/ n /jɪns/ aften scrieved yae, yin n yince en byleid writin.
  • ea, ei (vouel 3), haes generallie merged wi /i(ː)/ (vouel 2) or /e(ː)/ (vouel 4 or 8) dependin on the by leid. /ɛ/ micht kythe afore /r/. En Northren varieties the soondin micht be /əi/ efter /w/ an /ʍ/ n en the faur north /əi/ micht kythe en aw environments. deid, heid, meat, clear etc.
  • ee (vouels 2 an 11), e(Consonant)e (vouel 2). Whiles ei n i.e. wi ei fer ordinair afore ch (/x/), bit en ae few ither wairds an aw, n ie fer ordinair afore l an v. The soondin is fer ordinair /i(ː)/ bit en Northren varieties micht be /əi/ efter /w/ n /ʍ/. Final vouel 11 (/iː/) micht be /əi/ en Southren byleids. e.g. e, een, speir , steek, here, etc. The digraph ea kythes en ae few wairds lyk sea n tea an aw.
  • e (vouel 16): /ɛ/. bed, het, yett, etc.
  • eu (vouel 7 afore /k/ an /x/ see ui): /(j)u/ or /(j)ʌ/ dependin on dialect. Whiles u(consonant)e. Whiles u phonetically an oo efter Staundart Ingils kythes an aw, e.g. beuk, eneuch, keuk, leuk, teuk etc.
  • ew (vouel 14): /ju/. En Northren bileids a ruit final 'ew' micht be /jʌu/. few, new, etc.
  • i (Vouel 15): /ɪ/, but aften varies atween /ɪ/ an /ʌ/ specially efter 'w' an 'wh'. /æ/ kythes en Ulster an aw afore voiceless consonants. big, fit, wid, etc.
  • i(consonant)e, y(consonant)e, ey (vouels 1, 8a an 10): /əi/ or /aɪ/. 'ay' is fer ordinair /e/ bit /əi/ in ay n aye. En Dundee hit is ae kenspeckle /ɛ/.
  • o (vouel 18): /ɔ/ bit aften mergin wi vouel 5 (/o/) aften speelt phoneteeclie oa in byleid speelins lyk boax (box), coarn (corn), Goad (God)joab (job) n oan (on) etc.
  • oa (vouel 5): /o/.
  • oi, oy (vouel 9)
  • ow, owe (ruit final), seendle ou (vouel 13): /ʌu/. Afore 'k' vocalisation til /o/ micht kythe speciallie en wastren n Ulster byleids. bowk, bowe, howe, knowe, cowp, yowe, etc.
  • ou the ordinair leeterar speelin o vouel 6. Whiles u(consonant)e en some wairds: /u/ the foregane aften representit bi oo, ae 19t centuair lend fae Staundairt Ingils. Ruit final /ʌu/ micht kythe en Soothren byleids. cou, broun, hoose, moose etc.
  • u (vouel 19): /ʌ/. but, cut, etc.
  • ui, the ordinair leeterar speelin o vouel 7 (binna afore /k/ an /x/ see eu), the speelin u(consonant)e whiles kythed, speciallie afore nasals, n oo fae the speelin o Staundairt Ingils cognates: /ø/ in conservative byleids. In pairts o Fife, Dundee north Aintrim /e/. In Northren byleids fer ordinair /i/ bit /wi/ efter /ɡ/ n /k/ aften speelt ee in byleid writin, n /u/ an aw afore /r/ en some airts e.g. fuird. Mid Doun n Donegal byleids haes /i/. En central n north Doun byleids merger wi vouel 15 (/ɪ/) occurs whan cuttie n vouel 8 (/eː/) whan lang, aften scrieved ai en byleid writin, e.g. buird, buit, cuit, fluir, guid, schuil, etc. En central byleids uise v. an uiss n. (use) is [jeːz] an [jɪs].

Some graimmar featurs eedit

The definit airtikil eedit

The is bruikit afore the names o saisons, days o the week, monie nouns, illnesses, tredds, occupations, sciences n acadeemic subjeks. It's aften bruikit in stead o the indefinit airtikil n instad o a possesseev pronoun n aw: the hairst, the Wadensday, awa til the kirk, the nou, the dei, the haingles, the Laitin, The deuk ett the bit breid, the wife etc.

Nouns eedit

Nouns fer ordinair eiks –(e)s fer the plural bit some irraigulair plurals kith: ee/een, cauf/caur, horse/horse, cou/kye, shae/shuin. Nouns o meisur an quantitie byds the same en the plural fower fit, twa mile, five pund, three hunnerwecht. Raigular plurals incluid laifs, leafs, shelfs n wifes, etc.

Dimeenuteeves eedit

Dimeenuteeves wi –ie, burnie (wee burn), feardie/feartie, gamie, kiltie, postie, wifie, rhodie, an wi ock, bittock, playock, sourock n Northren –ag, bairnag (wee bairn), Cheordag, -ockie, hooseockie, wifeockie, baith is influenced bi the Scots Gaelic dimeenuteeve -ag.

Modal verbs eedit

The modal verbs mey, ocht tae, an sall isna aften bruikit in Scots n this is histereec, bit is whiles still fand in anglifie'd leeterair Scots. Can, shid, n will/wul is the prefer'd Scots maks. Scots employs doobel modal maks He'll no can cum the day, A micht cud cum the morn, A uised tae cud dae hit, but no nou.

Praisent tense o verbs eedit

The praisent tense o verbs ends en –s en aw persons n nummers cept whan a singil personal pronoun is nex til the verb, Thay say he's ower wee, Thaim that says he's ower wee, Thir lassies says he's ower wee etc. Thay'r cummin an aw bit Five o thaim's cummin, The lassies? Thay'v went bit Ma brakes haes went. Thaim that cums first is ser'd first. The trees growes green en the simmer.

Wis micht can tak the steid o war, but na widdershins: Ye were/wis thaur.

Past tense o verbs eedit

The raigulair past form o the verb is –(i)t or –(e)d, gaun bi the aforegaun consonant or vouel hurtit, skelpit, Mendit, kent/kenned, cleant/cleaned, skreived, telt/tauld, dee'd. Some verbs haes kenspeakle maks greet/grat/grutten, fesh/fuish/fuishen, lauch/leuch/lauchen, gae/gaed/gane, gie/gied/gien, pit/pat/pitten, git/gat/gotten.

Wird order eedit

Scots aften haes tha wird order He turnt oot tha licht an na He turnt tha licht oot an Gie me hit an na Gie hit til me.

Antrin verbs is aften uised progressive He wis thinkin he wad tell her, He wis wantin tae tell her.

Verbs o motion micht be drappit afore aen adverb or adverb phrases o motion Ah'm awa til ma bed, That's me awa hame, Ah'll intil tha hoose an see him.

Partecipils gaes til tha end o tha clause mair aften nor in Inglis whaur chynge o state is impleid (pairtéculair in Ulster): He's awfu auld gettin, Ah hae ma siller chynged.

Ordinal nummers eedit

Ordinal nummers ends wi –t seicont, fowert, fift, saxt etc. first, Thrid/third.

Adverbs eedit

Adverbs fer ordinair taks the same mak aes the verb ruit or adjecteeve specialie efter verbs. Haein ae real guid day. She's gey fauchelt.
Adverbs is shaped wi –s, -lies, lins, gate(s) an wey(s) – whyls, mebbes, brawlies, geylies, aiblins, airselins, hauflins, hidlins, maistlins, awgates, ilkagate, oniegate, ilkawey, onywey(s), endweys, fit weys.

Subordinate clauses eedit

Verbless subordinate clauses is brocht en wi, n pittin ower surpreese or skunner She haed tae walk the hale length o the road n her sieven month pregnant, He telt me tae rin n me wi ma sair leg.

Negation eedit

Negation is pitten ower bi bruikin the adverb na, en the North Eist nae, as in Ah'm na cummin, or bi bruikin the suffix –na (soondin lippens oan byleid), aes in "A dinnae ken", Thay canna cum n We coudna hae telt him. The uiss wi na is fer ordinair taen foreby –na wi contractabil auxiliair verbs lyk –ll fer will, or en ay nae speirins wi onie auxiliair He'll na cum n Did he na cum?

Reelateeve pronoon eedit

The reelateeve pronoon is that ('at is anither mak borraed fae the Norse bit hit can cum aboot bi contraction) fer aw persons n nummers, bit micht be drappit Thaur's na monie fowk (that) byds en that glen. The anglifie'd maks wha, wham, whase, n the auld-farrant whilk is j ist leeterair pensfuness; whilk is alanerlie bruikit eftir ae statement He said he'd tint hit, whilk wis na whit we wantit tae hear. The possesseeve cums aboot bi eikin 's or bi bruikin aen appropriate pronoon The wifie that's hoose gat burnt, the wumman that her dochter gat mairit; the men that thair boat wis tint.

The thrid adjecteeve/adverb yon/yonder, thon/thonder pynts oot sommit that's faur fae the speaker n the leestener, D'ye see yon/thon hoose ower yonder/thonder? The plurals o this n that is thae n thir. Northren byleids taks this n that fer the plural ava.

Hamelt leids eedit

Scots haes monie hamelt leids, or byleids. Thir include;

See foreby eedit

References eedit

  • Aitken, A.J. (1977) How to Pronounce Older Scots in Bards and Makars. Glasgow, Glasgow University Press.
  • Aitken, A. J. (1987) The Nuttis Schell: Essays on the Scots Language. Aberdeen, Aberdeen University Press. ISBN 0-08-034530-1
  • Caldwell, S.J.G. (1974) The Pronoun in Early Scots. Helsinki, Société Néophilique.
  • Corbett, John; McClure, Derrick; Stuart-Smith, Jane (Editors)(2003) The Edinburgh Companion to Scots. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-1596-2
  • Eagle, Andy (2005) Wir Ain Leid. Scots-Online. Available in full at Archived 2008-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  • Jones, Charles (1997) The Edinburgh History of the Scots Language. Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh Press. ISBN 0-7486-0754-4
  • Jones, Charles (1995) A Language Suppressed: The pronunciation of the Scots language in the 18th century. Edinburgh, John Donald. ISBN 0-85976-427-3
  • Kingsmore, Rona K. (1995) Ulster Scots Speech: A Sociolinguistic Study. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0711-7
  • McClure, J. Derrick (1997) Why Scots Matters. Edinburgh, Saltire Society. ISBN 0-85411-071-2
  • McKay, Girvan (2007) The Scots Tongue (La skota lingvo), Polyglot Publications, Tullamore, Ireland.
  • Niven, Liz; Jackson, Robin (Eds.) (1998) The Scots Language: its place in education. Watergaw Publications. ISBN 0-9529978-5-1
  • Robertson, T.A.; Graham, J.J. (1991) Grammar and Use of the Shetland Dialect. Lerwick, The Shetland Times Ltd.
  • Ross, David; Smith, Gavin D. (Editors)(1999) Scots-English, English-Scots Practical Dictionary. New York, Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-7818-0779-4
  • Scottish Language Dictionaries (1985) Concise Scots Dictionary . Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 1-902930-01-0
  • Scottish Language Dictionaries (1990) Scots Thesaurus. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 1-902930-03-7
  • Warrack, Alexander (Editor)(1911) Chambers Scots Dictionary. Chambers.
  • Yound, C.P.L. (2004) Scots Grammar. Scotsgate. Available in full at

Fremmit airtins eedit

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Scots leid

Scrieved Scots eedit Scots leid

Some graimmar featurs eedit Scots leid

Hamelt leids eedit Scots leid

See foreby eedit Scots leid

Anglic leids

Inglis leid





Scots Gaelic leid

Scots Wikipedia

Scots lawlands


Ulster Scots leid

Wast Germanic leids

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