Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...


Robert (Rabbie) Burns
(1759–1796), celebrated Scots
poet and lyricist, considered
Scotland’s national bard

Language information: Scots is the Germanic language of the Scottish Lowlands. Old English being their common ancestors, Scots is closely related to English but is now considered a language in its own right. Specifically, Scots descended from the Old Northumbrian dialect, is thus most closely related to the Northumbrian dialects of England. Scots―which is also referred to as “Lowlands Scots,” “Lallans” (“Lowlands”) and some of its dialects as “Doric”―was the language of Scotland’s administration until Scotland had to submit to English power. Auld lang syne by the famous Scottish bard Robert Burns (Rabbie Burns) is a traditional Scots song famous around the world nowadays.
     There are three main dialect groups of Scots: Mainland Scots (including some island dialects), Shetlandic (strongly Scandinavian-influenced varieties of the Orkney and Shetland Islands), and Ulster Scots (or Ullans, of Northern Ireland, which some people in Northern Ireland wish to be considered a language in its own rights). Because of its Scandinavian links and influences, Shetlandic might justifiably be considered a language in its own right. The Mainland Scots dialect group consists of the following subgroups: Southern Scots (or Borders Scots), Southwestern Central Scots, Southeastern Central ALL languages and dialects are beautiful, precious gifts. So cherish yours and others! Share them with the world!Scots (including Lothian Scots), Western Central Scots, Northeastern Central Scots, and Northern Scots (with the subdivisions South, Mid and North).
     While Scots is seen and presented by some people, organizations and publications as a subdivision of English (often as a type of “debased” or “slang” Scottish English), it must be borne in mind that Scots has had its own norms, traditions and literature for many centuries, that there are, on the whole, clear distinctions between Scots and Scottish English, and that Scots now again enjoys the status of an official language of Scotland, alongside English and Gaelic.
     Scots is a descendant of Old Northumbrian (as opposed to Southern Old English, which is predominantly based on Old Saxon). As such, it was mostly based on Old Anglish (the language of the Germanic Angles who, with their Germanic relatives, the Saxons, Jutes and Frisians, settlled in previously predominantly Celtic Britain). Indeed, in early times Scots was called Inglis, in other words “Anglish,” i.e. “English.” But already then it was considered separate from the ancestor of what would grow into the actual English language of England. Scots is closely related to the Modern Northumbrian dialects used in the northeastern parts of England. However, while Scots has a history of dominance in Scotland prior to English occupation of that country, Northumbrian dialects of England tend to be considered dialects of English, presumably due to validation of national (> ethnic) alliance.

Genealogy: Indo-European > Germanic > Western > Anglo-Scots > Northumbrian > Scottish > Scots

Historical Lowlands language contacts: English

    Click to open the translation: [General Scots] [East Lothian Scots] Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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