The Multilingual Scotland – Research Paper – JeremyX
The Multilingual Scotland
The multilingual ScotlandA seed from IrelandWhen trying to understand the change of accents in Scotland, it is inevitable to look into the major language that existed in the ancient time. Its name is Gaelic. Originally, it was the native language firstly spoken in Ireland. At about A.D.400, it spread to several parts of England including Scotland as the immigrants from Ireland settled down. They were referred to “Scotti” by the Roman writers and acknowledged as barbarian for their blue prints. After hundreds of years, they fought and made peace with the local “Pitc”. Gradually, the language of the “Pict” faded and the Gaelic became the mainstream that were spoken by most of the population in the continent in around A.D.844. After that, the Gaelic encounter an impacts from anther language.The Language Is Power -Inglis Often written as “lnglis”, the Germanic tongue English replace the dominant position of Gaelic and is used in poetry as well as in court and state. By 1494, due to the fact that this language was so different from the English spoken in England, the public acknowledged it as Scottis or Scots. Particularly, at the time of James IV, the Scots aggressively became the language that was prober in Lowland. In the eyes of the people in Lowland, the Gaelic is the language that would only be used by criminals, beggars or illiterate people. This phenomenon is owning to the James IV’s political and cultural agenda trying to push Lowland Scots as the official language among people in Scotland. A case in point can be found in one of the book firstly printed in Scotland in 1507. What is fascinating is that it describes the “Flyting” of the author Dunbar and Keenedie written in the language of the Lowland Scots. Need to mention that a “flyting” is a genre where a poet attacks another poet verbally and being as offensive as possible which assembles to a duel. According to the record, Mr. Dunbar used the language like “Your treacherous tongue has taken a Highland strain; a Lowland arse would make a better noise.” From the context, it is obvious that the accusation Dunbar made is the use of Irish tongue, the Gaelic tongue. That was exactly a stereotype that discriminated Gaelic at that time. Furthermore, what James IV was really after was not the language itself but an export to the further-out regions, a demonstration that his kingdom was a unity. Before long, his trick played out. The MacDonalds, his rival was no longer in charge and he married Margaret Tudor, the daughter of Henry VII of England in 1503. This is the first step of obtaining a higher status among the Europe monarchs. After that, it would be the story of Tudors’ dynasty emerged from the Wars of the Roses, which would not be further discussed in this paper. Anyway, the action of James IV laid in foundation to the language separation between Lowland and others parts of Scotland as well as the blooms of this language in the period of 16th to 18th century .
Treaty of UnionAfter 400 years of golden time for Scots to blossom, the English finally got in the way. The establishment of the Treaty of Union in 1707 was the symbol when Scots lost its political status to standard English. The Great Britain was established and Scotland was no longer independent. Therefore, the Scottish government were required to move to the London, where Scots-speaking politicians were mocked by the English for their language. Without too much surprise, Scots was immediately reduced to a status of an colloquial language which would never be used in school or business. At some point, it was even acknowledged a dialect of English only being used by illiterate people like peasants or fishermen. As a consequence, the united official language set a tone for the development of Scottish language later on. Highland Clearance In 1800s , the clearance began. Forced evictions, burning of properties, starvation and even murder was the memory of Highlanders at that time. It was after the failure Jacobite Rebellions, the government hammered the highland communities in this way thus posing serious damage to the foundation of highland culture especially the Gaelic. The motivation of the Clearance was never about overcrowding as the government claimed but a chase for profits for Chiefs and landlords. In particular, Elizabeth Gordon, the landowners along with her husband was responsible for the cruel eviction of around 15,000 people from their own land.  However, the days of reckoning for those landlords and former chiefs came beyond their anticipation, they were no longer respected with rapidity and forced to sell their lands. The clans and the communities of highlanders collapsed progressively after one failure of another. More severely, their language was at peril due to the fact that the state education vigorously promoting the use of English regardless of the local language spoken in that area. There was a fact that we couldn’t after the highlanders was forced to live. They spoke only Gaelic and settling down in the places like Lowlands or Glasgow was not easy task. The barrier of language and prejudice like limited jobs created a even more challenging environment for the immigrants to make a living. That is to say, it was also a threat to the survival of Gaelic.
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(2016, 06). The Multilingual Scotland. EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 06, 2016, from