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Written Scots in Scotland and Ulster

A review of traditional spelling practice and recent recommendations for a normative orthography

(Corpus Textuum Scoticorum: 2)

By Andy Eagle. Edited by Michael Everson. First edition. Dundee: Evertype, 2022. ISBN 978-1-78201-263-4.
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Written Scots in Scotland and Ulster

There have been ten modern attempts to approach the problem of Scots spelling. In this volume Andy Eagle analyses each of those proposed reforms, all of which have tried to make alterations here and there where they considered it made sense. This study begins with the linguistic reality, analysing the phonemes of Scots and the various graphs traditionally used for them. It then examines the various proposals for refinement of Scots orthography which have been suggested since 1947 when the Scots Style Sheet was published. Comparing and contrasting traditional graphs with these proposals, Andy proposes a sound, natural-looking compromise, aiming toward an inclusive orthog­raphy that serves all dialects, and does not favour any one over any other.

Corpus Textuum Scoticorum is a series presenting edi­tions of language and literature of particular interest to Scotland. The series focuses on but is not limited to volumes dealing with the Scots and Scottish Gaelic languages.

From the Foreword by Andy Eagle

Under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages the British Government committed itself to protecting and encouraging autochthonous regional or minority languages, one of them Scots. Among the objectives were:
the facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of regional or minority languages, in speech and writing, in public and private life; (Part II Article 7, 1.d.)
Here, in particular, the facilitation of the use of written Scots in public life, especially in transactional texts intended to impart information to the general public, raises the issue of orthography. Historically Scots has never had a standard orthography in the sense that modern Standard English does. Recent written Scots, especially in the 20th century, encompasses some orthographic diversity reflecting historical, regional, circumstantial, and idiosyncratic practices. That would seem to reflect a somewhat anarchic situation, however, the literary record, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, shows that not to be the case.

In this monograph the nature of Scots orthography, in particular that of the 18th and 19th centuries, will be examined along with some of the more recent well-known or exhaustive suggestions for a normative orthography. The suitability of various traditional practices and the various suggestions made by others will be discussed as regards the establishing of a “stan­dardized” pan-dialectal normative orthography—although I prefer “regularized”. There is no intrinsic reason why a normative orthography should prescribe one spelling for each word if a variant pronunciation cannot be predicted from the graphemes used to represent the underlying phonemes.

Table of Contents
Foreword
Preface
1 An overview of Scots orthography
1.1 Historical context
1.2 Older Scots orthography
1.3 Modern Scots orthography
2 Phonology
2.1 Written Scots from Central Scotland
2.1.1 Use of gh, ch, wh, th, sh
2.1.2 Use of the apostrophe
2.1.3 Use of -na
2.1.4 Deletion of terminal -d
2.1.5 Deletion of ae and ane
2.1.6 Weak verb past tense endings in -it, -ed, and -’d
2.1.7 Present participles in -an, -in, and -ing
2.1.8 Vowels 1, 8a, and 10 in i, y, -ay, and -oi
2.1.9 Vowels 2 and 11 in ee, ei, and ie
2.1.10 Vowel 3 in ea and ai
2.1.11 Vowels 4 and 8 in ai, a-e, and ae
2.1.12 Vowels 5 and 18 in oa, o-e, and o
2.1.13 Vowel 6 in ou, ow, oo, and u-e
2.1.14 Vowel 7 in u-e, ui, and oo
2.1.15 Vowel 9 in oy and oi
2.1.16 Vowel 12 in au, aw, and a’
2.1.17 Vowel 13 in ow and ou
2.1.18 Vowel 14 in ew and ue
2.1.19 Vowel 15 in i
2.1.20 Vowel 16 in e
2.1.21 Vowel 17 in a
2.1.22 Vowel 19 in u
2.1.23 Other comments
2.2 Written Scots from North-East Scotland
2.2.1 Use of gh and ch
2.2.2 Use of wh
2.2.3 Use of th and sh
2.2.4 Use of ȝ and z
2.2.5 Use of the apostrophe
2.2.6 Use of nae for no
2.2.7 Use of -na
2.2.8 Deletion of terminal -d
2.2.9 Use of ane
2.2.10 Weak verb past tense endings in -it, -ed, and -’d
2.2.11 Present participles in -in’, -in, and -ing
2.2.12 Vowels 1, 8a, and 10 in i(-e), y(-e), -ay, and -oi
2.2.13 Vowels 2 and 11 in ee, ei, and ie
2.2.14 Vowel 3 in ea and ei
2.2.15 Vowels 4 and 8 in ai, a-e, and ae
2.2.16 Vowels 5 and 18 in oa, o-e, and o
2.2.17 Vowel 6 in ou, ow, oo, and u-e
2.2.18 Vowel 7 in oo, o, u-e, ui, and eu
2.2.19 Vowel 9 in oy and oi
2.2.20 Vowel 12 in au, aw, and a’
2.2.21 Vowel 13 in ow and ou
2.2.22 Vowel 14 in ew
2.2.23 Vowel 15 in i
2.2.24 Vowel 16 in e
2.2.25 Vowel 17 in a
2.2.26 Vowel 19 in u
2.2.27 Other comments
2.3 Written Scots from Ulster
2.3.1 Use of gh and ch
2.3.2 Use of wh
2.3.3 Use of th and sh
2.3.4 Use of ȝ
2.3.5 Use of -na
2.3.6 Use of the apostrophe
2.3.7 Deletion of terminal -d
2.3.8 Use of ane, ance, and aince
2.3.9 Weak verb past tense endings in -ed, -’d, -led, -it, and -elt
2.3.10 Present participles in -in’
2.3.11 Vowels 1, 8a, and 10 in i(-e), y(-e), -ay, -ey, and -oi
2.3.12 Vowels 2 and 11 in ee, ei, and ie<,i>
2.3.13 Vowel 3 in ea
2.3.14 Vowels 4 and 8 in ai, a-e, and ae
2.3.15 Vowels 5 and 18 in oa, o-e, and o
2.3.16 Vowel 6 in ou, ow, oo, and u-e
2.3.17 Vowel 7 in oo and eu
2.3.18 Vowel 9 in oy and oi
2.3.19 Vowel 12 in au, aw, and a’
2.3.20 Vowel 13 in ow and ou
2.3.21 Vowel 14 in ew and ue
2.3.22 Vowel 15 in i
2.3.23 Vowel 16 in e
2.3.24 Vowel 17 in a
2.3.25 Vowel 19 in u
2.4 Written Scots from Southern Scotland
2.4.1 Use of gh and ch
2.4.2 Use of wh
2.4.3 Use of th and sh
2.4.4 Use of ȝ
2.4.5 Use of the apostrophe
2.4.6 Use of -na
2.4.7 Deletion of terminal -d
2.4.8 Use of ane, ance, and yin
2.4.9 Weak verb past tense endings in -ed, -’d, -led, -it, and -elt
2.4.10 Present participles in -in’
2.4.11 Vowels 1, 8a, and 10 in i(-e), y(-e), ai, oy, and oi
2.4.12 Vowel 2 in ee, ei, and ie
2.4.13 Vowel 11 in ee and e
2.4.14 Vowel 3 in ea
2.4.15 Vowels 4 and 8 in ai, a-e, and ae
2.4.16 Vowels 5 and 18 in oa, o-e, and o
2.4.17 Vowel 6 in ou, ow, oo, and u-e
2.4.18 Vowel 7 in u-e, ui, oo, and eu
2.4.19 Vowel 9 in oy and oi
2.4.20 Vowel 12 in au, aw, and a’
2.4.21 Vowel 13 in ow and ou
2.4.22 Vowel 14 in ew and ue
2.4.23 Vowel 15 in i
2.4.24 Vowel 16 in e
2.4.25 Vowel 17 in a
2.4.26 Vowel 19 in u
2.4.27 Other comments
3 Language planning
3.1 The 18th and 19th centuries
3.2 Ideological obstacles to progress today
4 Proposals and practices
4.1 Groups and individuals promulgating reform
4.1.1 The Scots Style Sheet (1947)
4.1.2 David Purves (1975)
4.1.3 Derrick McClure (1980)
4.1.4 The Scots Language Society (1985)
4.1.5 Angus Stirling (1994)
4.1.6 The Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum (1995)
4.1.7 The SNDA (later SLD, now DSL)
4.1.8 George Philp (1997)
4.1.9 Philip Robinson (1997)
4.1.10 The Scots Spelling Comatee (2000)
4.2 Approaches to orthographic reform
4.2.1 Maximalist approaches
4.2.2 Minimalist approaches
5 Consonants
5.1 Orthography in the 18th and 19th centuries
5.1.1 The consonant system of Scots
5.1.2 Orthographic single and double consonants
5.2 Traditional orthographic mappings
5.2.1 Mapping of /p/ and /b/, and of /t/ and /d/
5.2.1.1 Dental realization of /t/ and /d/
5.2.1.2 Simplification of original clusters in /ld/ and /nd/
5.2.1.3 Simplification of original clusters in /kt/ and /pt/
5.2.2 Mapping of /ɡ/
5.2.3 Mapping of /k/
5.2.3.1 Use of ⟨c⟩ and ⟨sc⟩ versus ⟨k⟩ and ⟨sk⟩
5.2.3.2 Realization of original /kn/
5.2.4 Realization of /t/, /k/, and /p/ as /ʔ/
5.2.5 Mapping of /m/ and /n/
5.2.6 Mapping of /ŋ/
5.2.7 Mapping of /r/ and /ɹ/
5.2.8 Mapping of /f/ and /v/
5.2.9 Mapping of /θ/ and /ð/
5.2.10 Mapping of /s/ and /z/
5.2.11 Mapping of /ʃ/
5.2.12 Mapping of /ʒ/
5.2.13 Mapping of /ç/ and /x/
5.2.14 Mapping of /h/
5.2.15 Mapping of /tʃ/
5.2.16 Mapping of /dʒ/
5.2.17 Mapping of /j/
5.2.18 Mapping of /ʍ/
5.2.19 Mapping of /w/
5.2.20 Mapping of /l/ and /ɫ/
6 Vowels
6.1 Vowel length in Scots
6.1.1 Schwa /ə/
6.1.2 Use of diacritics
6.2 Vowels 1, 8a, and 10
6.2.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.2.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.2.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.2.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.2.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.2.6 SLD recommendation
6.2.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.2.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.2.9 Discussion of vowel 1
6.2.10 Discussion of vowel 8a
6.2.11 Discussion of vowel 10
6.3 Vowels 2, 11, and 3
6.3.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.3.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.3.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.3.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.3.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.3.6 SLD recommendation
6.3.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.3.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.3.9 Discussion of vowel 2
6.3.10 Discussion of vowel 11
6.3.11 Discussion of vowel 3
6.3.12 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.3.13 Purves’ recommendation
6.3.14 McClure’s recommendation
6.3.15 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.3.16 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.3.17 SLD recommendation
6.3.18 Robinson’s recommendation
6.3.19 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.3.20 Further discussion of vowel 3
6.4 Vowels 4 and 8
6.4.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.4.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.4.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.4.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.4.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.4.6 SLD recommendation
6.4.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.4.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.4.9 Discussion of vowels 4 and 8
6.5 Vowels 5 and 18
6.5.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.5.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.5.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.5.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.5.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.5.6 SLD recommendation
6.5.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.5.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.5.9 Discussion of vowels 5 and 18
6.6 Vowel 6
6.6.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.6.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.6.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.6.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.6.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.6.6 SLD recommendation
6.6.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.6.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.6.9 Discussion of vowel 6
6.7 Vowel 7
6.7.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.7.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.7.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.7.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.7.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.7.6 SLD recommendation
6.7.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.7.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.7.9 Discussion of vowel 7
6.8 Vowel 9
6.9 Vowel 12
6.9.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.9.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.9.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.9.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.9.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.9.6 SLD recommendation
6.9.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.9.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.9.9 Discussion of vowel 12
6.10 Vowel 13
6.10.1 General recommendation
6.10.2 SLD recommendation
6.10.3 Robinson’s recommendation
6.10.4 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.10.5 Discussion of vowel 13
6.11 Vowel 14
6.11.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.11.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.11.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.11.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.11.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.11.6 SLD recommendation
6.11.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.11.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.11.9 Discussion of vowel 14
6.12 Vowel 15
6.12.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
6.12.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.12.3 McClure’s recommendation
6.12.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.12.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.12.6 SLD recommendation
6.12.7 Robinson’s recommendation
6.12.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.12.9 Discussion of vowel 15
6.13 Vowel 16
6.13.1 General recommendation
6.13.2 Purves’ recommendation
6.13.3 McClure’s and Scots Language Society recommendation
6.13.4 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.13.5 Discussion of vowel 16
6.14 Vowel 17
6.14.1 Scots Style Sheet and recommendation
6.14.2 McClure’s recommendation
6.14.3 Scots Language Society recommendation
6.14.4 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.14.5 SLD and Robinson’s recommendation
6.14.6 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.14.7 Discussion of vowel 17
6.15 Vowel 19
6.15.1 Scots Style Sheet and Purves’ recommendation
6.15.2 McClure’s and Scots Language Society recommendation
6.15.3 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
6.15.4 SLD recommendation
6.15.5 Robinson’s recommendation
6.15.6 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
6.15.7 Discussion of vowel 19
7 Morphemes and grammar
7.1 The negative particle -na
7.2 The present participle -in
7.3 Weak verb preterites in -it, -t, -’t, -(e)d, and -’d
7.3.1 Scots Style Sheet recommendation
7.3.2 Purves’ recommendation
7.3.3 McClure’s recommendation
7.3.4 Scots Language Society recommendation
7.3.5 Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum recommendation
7.3.6 SLD recommendation
7.3.7 Robinson’s recommendation
7.3.8 Scots Spelling Comatee recommendation
7.3.9 Discussion of weak verb preterites
7.3.9.1 Stems ending in voiced and voiceless stops: -it, -t, -ed
7.3.9.2 Stems ending in nasals: -it, -t, and -ed
7.3.9.3 Stems ending in liquids: -t and -ed
7.3.9.4 Stems ending in voiceless affricates and fricatives: -t
7.3.9.5 Stems ending in voiced affricates and fricatives: -(e)d
7.3.9.6 Stems ending in stressed vowels: -it, -ed, and -’d
7.3.9.7 Stems ending in unstressed vowels: -it, -d
7.3.9.8 The past participle adjective in -it
7.3.10 Summary
7.4 The adjectival suffix -ous
7.5 The suffix -fu
7.6 Final -r in -ar, -er, -our, -ure, and -er
7.6.1 Anglo-Norman-derived endings -ar and -or
7.7 The causative suffix -fee
7.8 The adjectival/diminutive suffixes -y and -ie
7.9 The suffix cognate with Standard English -ow
7.10 Grammar
8 Conclusion
9 Examples for comparison: Robert Burns
9.1 Robert Burns
9.2 The Scots Style Sheet 1947
9.3 David Purves
9.4 J. Derrick McClure
9.5 The Scots Language Society
9.6 Angus Stirling
9.7 The Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum
9.8 The SNDA (later SLD, now DSL)
9.9 George Philp
9.10 Philip Robinson
9.11 The Scots Spellin Comatee
9.12 Andy Eagle
9.13 Phonetic Transcription
9.14 Summary for comparison
9.14.1 Robert Burns
9.14.2 The Scots Style Sheet 1947
9.14.3 David Purves
9.14.4 J. Derrick McClure
9.14.5 The Scots Language Society
9.14.6 Angus Stirling
9.14.7 The Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum
9.14.8 The SNDA (later SLD, now DSL)
9.14.9 George Philp
9.14.10 Philip Robinson
9.14.11 The Scots Spellin Comatee
9.14.12 Andy Eagle
9.14.13 Phonetic Transcription
10 Afterword: Translating Wonderland
10.1 Standard English (Lewis Carroll)
10.2 Shetland Scots (Laureen Johnson)
10.3 Orkney Scots (Donna Heddle)
10.4 Caithness Scots (Catherine Byrne)
10.5 North-East Scots (Derrick McClure)
10.6 Fife Scots (Tom Hubbard)
10.7 South-East Central Scots (Sandy Fleemin)
10.8 Synthetic Scots (Andrew McCallum)
10.9 Borders Scots (Cameron Halfpenny)
10.10 West-Central Scots (James Andrew Begg)
10.11 Glaswegian Scots (Thomas Clark)
10.12 Galloway Scots (Stuart Paterson)
10.13 Ulster Scots (Anne Morrison-Smyth)
10.14 Summary for comparison
10.14.1 Lewis Carroll
10.14.2 Laureen Johnson
10.14.3 Donna Heddle
10.14.4 Catherine Byrne
10.14.5 Derrick McClure
10.14.6 Tom Hubbard
10.14.7 Sandy Fleemin
10.14.8 Andrew McCallum
10.14.9 Cameron Halfpenny
10.14.10 James Andrew Begg
10.14.11 Thomas Clark
10.14.12 Stuart Paterson
10.14.13 Anne Morrison-Smyth
11 Bibliography
12 Summary table of recommended vowel spellings
 
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