Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Scots Language: Guest Blog by Wojciech Gardela

After blogging about Scots pronunciation, a few days ago, 'Whittaker' was offered further advice on the Scots language.  So much useful advice, in fact, that it merits a blogpost of its own. So here is a guest blogpost by Wojtek Gardela, Lecturer in Scots Language at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Pronunciation, Dictionaries and Online Resources
  • The online Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) has pronunciations, depending on the region. They're in square brackets, but are not given for every word. 
  • While using the DSL, you can also look up words using the SND + SND Supplement searches, as this will give pronunciations of words from 1700 onwards (i.e. Modern Scots), where such pronunciations are available. 
  • There's ongoing work on a newer version of the DSL, but it only contains material for Older Scots (i.e. up to 1700).
  • An alternative may be a paper copy of the Concise Scots Dictionary (CSD), which, as far as I remember, has more pronunciations.   (Here is our Whittaker Library copy in the catalogue.)
  • You should remember, though, there are a number of non-linguistic dictionaries of Scots on the market, too (published under various names), but only those published by the Scottish Language Dictionaries are 'official' and most comprehensive, backed up by decades of evidence gathering by specialists in the field.
  • There are more publications by the Scottish Language Dictionaries here:
  • Although I don't know of any books that would give International Phonetic Alphabet pronunciations of Scots words, info on IPA can be found here, if you're interested in phonetics:-

There are also other websites, which are not dictionaries but may be helpful to those studying Scots song - see below.

Websites which may assist in studying Scots song

Lastly, Wojciech has recommended a new Scots language book - Modren Scots Grammar, by Christine Robinson. It was launched literally last week, and we're ordering a copy of it.  (If you have a Kindle, you can buy a copy in Kindle format at a lower price.)

No comments: