The history of the scots language

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
I assume you're asking about the Germanic Scots language and not the Goidelic language of the Scotti.
Inglis was probably introduced to the eastern coast of Scotland by Frisians and Angles. Initially these Germanic peoples would have assisted the Votadini and the Picts with their raiding excursions against the Roman occupation of southern Britain. Later they would have been involved with trade between Britain and the continent and eventually these Germanic peoples formed settlements along the eastern seaboard. Prior to speaking Inglis, the peoples of eastern Scotland spoke a language similar to Welsh and later spoke a version of Gaelic.Nowadays, they pretty much all speak English.
 
Jul 2019
850
New Jersey
It was basically a form of medieval English which caught on in the Lowlands during the Middle Ages. You can think of it as a cousin of English.
 
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GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,511
Wirral
I assume you're asking about the Germanic Scots language and not the Goidelic language of the Scotti.
Inglis was probably introduced to the eastern coast of Scotland by Frisians and Angles. Initially these Germanic peoples would have assisted the Votadini and the Picts with their raiding excursions against the Roman occupation of southern Britain. Later they would have been involved with trade between Britain and the continent and eventually these Germanic peoples formed settlements along the eastern seaboard. Prior to speaking Inglis, the peoples of eastern Scotland spoke a language similar to Welsh and later spoke a version of Gaelic.Nowadays, they pretty much all speak English.
My understanding - possibly wrong - was that Gaelic hadn’t been spoken much in SE Scotland. Basically that what became Scots directly superseded Old Welsh/Brythonic.
 

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
It's a cousin of English. The basic difference is that wasn't diluted as much by French as modern English.
 

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
The language spoken in South East Scotland prior to Inglis was the Cumbric language. A cousin langage to modern Welsh.
 
Jul 2019
12
Devon, United Kingdom
The basic history (which is broadly accepted) starts with the Northern dialect of Old English (Northumbrian) as the South-Eastern part of Scotland was in this Saxon Kingdom, this becomes a version of Middle English with more Norse influences than seen elsewhere. Then it starts to diverge into a visibly different "language"; Early Scots. Gaelic influences are visible but limited, mainly concerning geographical features. It starts to get slightly more complicated when you're looking at Ulster Scots, the version spoken in Northern Ireland. In Scotland today, Scots is used to describe a wide variety of regional dialects (spoken across Southern and Eastern Scotland including the Orkneys and Shetlands) which are a spoken vernacular differing from the accepted written version of written Southern English.
There is an argument as to whether Scots should be considered a language or dialect of English; this is made hard to answer though, given that there is not one accepted form of Scots and there's no official criterion on the matter of dialects. There have been some that have posited that Scots is actually a Germanic Language which has arisen separately from English, but that it is just similar. This view is generally disregarded though.
 
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PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
when JamesVI became James Ist , Scots ceased to be the state language of Scotland and was replaced by English. As mentioned by Deunans, the Scots language lacks the uniformity of Queens English.
As to whether Scots is a separate language or just a dialect I'm not sure but if I had to choose, I'd probably opt for Northumbrian dialect with some Yorkshire and Gaelic thrown in for good measure.
 
Jun 2017
634
maine
they pretty much all speak English.
Perhaps. ;) Once, on a Håkon IV trek, I found myself in Balfour on Shapinsay and needing to purchase some stamps, I headed for the post office. My Scottish friends offered to come along and translate for me. Said me (in my foolishness): "Don't be daft--after the years I lived in Edinburgh, plus the fact I understand Norwegian, the Balfour post office will be a snap". Inside the clerk opened her mouth and made noise. I couldn't understand a word of what she was saying--and I fled in search of my Scottish friends. What ever she said, it certainly didn't sound like English to me! :crying: