View Single Post
Old 10-23-2019, 01:28 PM
The Stafford Cripps is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,437
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
"Scottish Standard English is at one end of a bipolar linguistic continuum, with focused broad Scots at the other."
In other words, you can start at Caithness and travel to Edinburgh with the language shifting only gradually along the way.
I don't think the second sentence really works as a paraphrasing of the first one. The first sentence isn't referring to geography at all. The point is, whether you're in Edinburgh or whether you're in Caithness, you will encounter people speaking broad Scots such that outsiders might not be able to understand, and you will encounter people speaking standard Scots English. And as Schnitte described above with regard to Germany, people will vary the degree of dialect/standardness according to who they are speaking to.

As it happens, I think the standard Scots English will be very similar in Caithness and Edinburgh, but the broad Scots dialect in each place will be quite different. The accents are completely different.

Although I do champion the Scots language, I'm not sure the low/high German analogy works that well; I don't think the differences in grammar between a broad Scots dialect and standard English are as great as the differences between different German dialects, even ones which are both eg high German. It also seems to me that people higher up social and educational scales are more likely to use dialect in Germany than they would anywhere in Britain.

Apologies if I've misinterpreted your point, Septimus.