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Document 48

Inaugural speech by John Kirk to launch the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech

Author(s): John M Kirk

Copyright holder(s): John M Kirk, SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

F606 Ehm, I'd just like to welcome you all to the launch of the SCOTS Corpus Project. This is a a big day for us; I mean it's especially a big day for me cause I seem to get to make three speeches. [audience laugh] Eh, but they're all on this sheet of paper, so [inaudible] courage. [audience laugh] Ehm I'd like to give an especial welcome to our first event which is the talk by Dr John Kirk from Belfast, He's well known to all of us as an authority on both Scottish and Irish English and also for his pioneering work at the early days of computational linguistics and later on corpora. Many years ago when he was involved in setting up the International Corpus of English, he kept appearing in Glasgow trying to persuade us to take on setting up the Scottish part of that. At that time we didn't feel we were quite ready for it. I don't know if we're really quite ready for it yet, but at least we are now making a start on a corpus of the languages of Scotland. And so that makes it very fitting that John should be our first speaker. Also that he should very kindly have agreed to be on our advisory board for the Project. And also that he should be our first victim, because he has very kindly agreed that this talk should be recorded not merely in sound but on video, so that it can then be made available to the world for erm linguistic analysis. So thank you, John.
M087 Well, thank you Christian for these these very kind words, and it certainly is an absolutely genuine pleasure to be here today. There's a Latin say-, saying "Bella scriptum [?]amet[/?]" and it certainly can take a lot of time before eh funding for good projects comes through, but it it is a delight to see that there is a Scots Corpus eh getting off the ground; not necessarily as a component of the International Corpus eh, but but in its own right. However, coming to Glasgow to talk about corpora in Scots, especially coming to talk about Scots, feels as though "I'm cairryin saut tae Dysart", eh with all these eh a- all these distinguished experts in the field, here, I wonder in my few remarks what I can possibly say. Though I'm reminded that ehm revivalists are very keen to go back to ehm, to Germanic expressions, erm, so so that would take us erm [laugh] "Eulen nach A- nach Athen tragen", I'd be "taking owls to Athens" and, among all these learned owls of Scots, I'm just the the "queer gowk", eh eh, but I certainly hope that the few remarks eh that I I'll make this afternoon will, will go some way to, ye know [laughs] performing, to to fulfilling the intended performance act of launching the project.

Of course, this is not the first corpus of Scots, erm I learned the word from Jack Aitken and he was probably influenced by the structuralists such as Harris and Hill in the nineteen fifties, who ehm who saw the collection of data as er as as as as it was once put, as the "explicandum of linguistics": you linguists had to explain real data, eh eh intuition wasn't enough, and so you had to collect data and explain it and hence we have the DOST corpus, erm which is reflected qualitatively in and, in some sense impressionistically, quantitatively in, in the dictionary, erm different from the Helsinki Corpus of Older Scots where Anneli Meurman-Solin is is very keen to count every realisation, of every form of every spelling of every form and give you statistics that the, as it were, Scots lies somehow in the statistics, rather than in in the texts, and erm er the latest issue of "Scottish Language", which hit the mailbox earlier this week er has good examples of this dealing with gender and age in Middle Scots writers. And I suppose, in a sense, behind the Scottish National Dictionary there's a corpus, the sixty odd bibli- pages of three-column bibliography at the end was a corpus, which I think it would be true to say David Murison had actually read [laugh], I remember the first time we got a an electronic edition of "Dubliners" in the department, there was great excitement and I I I I looked up the word "spirit" and there were eleven occurrences of the word "spirit" and lots of people said, "Oh, that's very interesting", and the concordance could show how the word "spirit" was being used, what grammatical structures, what col- lexical collocations and erm, one of my long-serving s- er colleagues er remarked, the way that David Murison probably would have remarked, "erm, gosh, I could have told you that!" [laugh] [audience laugh] "I've read it and remembered it" [audience laugh] and of course erm eh eh, you'll allow me to say, I actually have both the word "corpus" and the word "Scots" in the title of my thesis, ehm for wh-, as part of which I created ehm a corpus of dramatic texts from Glasgow eh and that's been available from the "Oxford eh Text Archive" ever since, although I don't think anybody's ever consulted it, eh, but I would be very, very happy to to to to to offer to donate a version of this as the first handsel eh to this corpus project, and along the way, in a moment of enthusiasm, ehm I I created a corpus of Biblical texts as well, so there will be a second handsel and, had we not been in the middle of an examining period this week and lengthy boring meetings, I might have used my time more productively actually to bring these and hand them over, but I hope I I did dress for the occasion, [audience laugh] [laugh] [audience laugh] bu- but didn't come bearing, as it were, the hu- not exactly the "hog de l'annee", but the "hog du projet".

Of course corpora are more than literary texts and more than collections, eh whether it's English or Scots, corpus linguists want to study the whole language, but can only do so on the basis of a sample, and so the central critical question is always the adequacy of the sample as a representation of the whole. Now there are exceptions; a corpus of Old English, when your sample is the entirety of of the language, but that is is is is is is is is an exception, ehm and ehm i-i- it's a probably a debatable question whether we could have our corpus as the entire eh collection of writing in Scots, [inhale] but I think part of that question would be whether it was worthwhile or not eh whether eh it might be possible, but would it be desirable? Of course there's lots of issues erm er in in designing a corpus an an an th- some of these you've already addressed; you're going to include speech as well as writing, and that's good, because ye ye know speech is nature, is the natural phenomenon, eh and writing is the nurturing of the speech into certain ways that have been codified by by the culture of of the country erm and eh I want to talk a bit more eh later eh about about some of the difficulties, I think, in in simply collecting a a a corpus of simply of written Scots, erm easier though that might be. Erm I mean s- when you think about it, you know, speech is about interaction, about having one's speech determined by what someone else has just said, and therefore can be very difficult or or or very funny. Scottish people love this type of interaction, and they've even a whole vocabulary for it: "argy bargys", "flytings", "crack", "patter" erm, so these are certainly, not that I would like your corpus to become the corpus of patter but, erm, corpus of flytings, but I I don't think these can be ignored.

In designing the British National Corpus, they went for ninety percent writing, ten percent speech, but that's a very large scale, but your scale's not probably not gonna be much less. In the International Corpus of English we went for sixty percent speech, forty percent writing erm, eh, exhale and and so so th- that that balance is something that that needs to be thought out. I mean, almost certainly it's because Scots has survived as a spoken language that that Scottish literature has survived on its back, I think, the the chicke- the egg has been, if it's the egg that comes first, eh, has has been the speech and and and writing the derivative from it. Erm, eh, eh, there are lots, as I say th-th-th-th-, how much you collect is is is a problem, how much of any text you correc-, collect, are you going to be like the Bank of English, s-s- stoke everything that you can find into it, and let the total rise? Three hundred and fifty million was the latest figure I heard. Er people, corpus linguists of English are now considering the internet as a corpus and now there's a huge debate, "Well, how big is the internet?", and erm [laugh] what erm eh [?]Herman[/?] [inaudible] I think he estimates about thirteen billion words. But when ye think about it, I mean, eh the answer to that is almost well, ye know, e- in due course, everybody's going to be on the internet, how many speakers of English have ye got, there's billions and billions of them, how many words can a speaker have, and you get to far more that thirteen billion quite quickly. It's staggering when ye get into these figures, but th-, ye know, the earlier point you want it all as it were, big might not be beautiful in that case. Ehm in the ICE project a text whether s- written or spoken is only two thousand words, we want excerpts and we want ranges and diversities and diversities of speakers, so maybe two thousand words of this talk might be enough! [laugh]

Ehm eh ehm and erm speech eh, as as we're we're witnessing, has its own difficulties of recording and and transcription Ehm, I wonder if any of you share my horror eh that in in these austere dictionaries for foreign learners like the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionaries informal words have become lexicalised and dignified as as as as as headwords "wanna" an "gonna" and "havta", eh and I I I'm sure I, if you sought under ehm word you thought of as a preposition "of" you might even get it to find these days as a form of the verb "have". If you look up the British National Corpus, the spoken section, the frequency of "of" used a- in the context of "have" is staggering, because Longman typists in Harlow, Essex simply were typing in a in a conventional way, audio typists, "I could of done it", and they heard "of", and [claps] transcribed it as "O F", so big problems there. Ethics, getting permission to record, easy if you're one on one with the likes of me this afternoon, but dealing with the with the with the media is is is not so easy, eh, and and beyond that legality, eh securing and operating not only within copyright but within performance rights legislation, which is actually getting worse and tougher, better in terms of the performer, but harder in terms of the user. An I think this is an issue, I I raised it, Mike was there, eh eh at the AHRB in London eh just before Christmas, where we're all being encouraged to use IT and all being encouraged to digitise speech, but actually the ha-, and and therefore the technology and the possibilities are better and easier, but some of the hidden issues are getting harder and and tougher.

And of course, speech is summed up by the words variation, variability, individual varies in different circumstances and the same circumstances can be realised very differently by different individuals. Style, individual manipulation of style eh, the reality is always variety and variation eh at every realisational level, and Scots here is bound up within English. You can't analyse Scots ultimately without looking at English as well. So in the sea of macro-issues and micro-decisions my advice such as it would be worth, would be to aim big and high and to maximise, to include, but also eh, Fiona doesn't wanna hear this to use extensive mark up, to capture all the relevant situational and social factors. And therefore you can let the analysis of the corpus determine how things really are. You don't prejudge, you don't preselect, anything that's from Scotland goes in there.

Well so much for collection, erm, I I I was going to erm erm eh extol the virtues of taking a corpus linguistic approach to eh t-t- to language study but I I think for for reasons of time erm I-I- I'll miss those out cause I'm sure you want some Scots [laugh] more than on corpora, Erm, eh, what, you might ask, is the purpose of this corpus? I'm sure when you wake up at five forty-five, I gather, tomorrow morning on Good Morning Television with Fiona's answer to camera to that question. What use is this corpus? Is it about synchronic descriptions, historical developments, both, something else, is it to outdo the SND corpus for lexicography or lexicography? Ehm in a book I edited eh last year, la- linguistic politics, arising from the symposium held in Belfast in August. This this volume contains six eh papers in Scots, six academic papers. So I made a little corpus of these six papers, six very talented, gifted writers, eh Caroline Macafee, Dauvit Horsbroch, Gavin Falconer, Andy Eagle, er Ian Parsley, and er and who have I missed out, erm and eh, oh Dauvit Horsbroch again [laugh] two bites at the cherry. And eh, I thought we might eh, want to see just, ye know, as a small example, what might come out of of this. Erm eh, of course, the erm, we've got eh, traditional dialect words in abundance, got "wee", "big", "biggins", "biggit", "ding", "dingin", "dingit", "diggins", right [laugh] coming out, but you get other words, traditional words in unusual uses; "curcuddoch", defined in the CSD as "sitting close together, side by side", we're all sitting curcuddoch [laugh], but, "looking at the top line of table yin, the figure for Scotland o'er aa ye'll see that Murdoch's figure is muckler. His maithodology wis mair intensive than curcuddoch. I'm inclined to believe that his figures are mair lik the truth". Well, that methodology should be curcuddoch. Er perhaps "advisement" is is more an an example of of traditional uses. "The main prior advisement not for the use of leids [?]inner[/?] nor Inglis in the Stormont assemblie, and though as saucht as [?]gentiness[/?], this isnae ay gaen [?]an ay mich[/?]".

One of my favourite words in this collection is the word "stewartry". I think this is the answer to all political problems, the recovery of "stewartries", because in this new ideology of revivalism, Scotland is a stewartry and Northern Ireland is another stewartry, so ye're talking of twa stewartries. It's a very handy term to refer to these two Scots speaking areas: Northern Ireland and eh and and and Scotland. That might solve the Unionist problems. Just [inaudible] here and hope that Jacobite cause [inaudible] put everyone in there.

Erm "heis" is a word that's eh used over and over again, anything you want to support, eh [laugh] or or or in any kind of way "gie a heis tae something", right? "This will tak an els tae heis Scots up tae [inaudible] an the considerit chairter." Eh, "Scots Ulster's been heised up abin Scots as a haill [inaudible] as the richt". 'Heis' in Scots, but eh it's being used very very widely in in Northern Ireland a- at the present moment, erm eh of course in in my little corpus we get the neologisms that have to do with language study, [inaudible] "fowk gate", "word buik", "word form". You'll get lots of these perhaps and that's just what the SNP's looking for.

And of course revival goes back to Germanic patterns, so we get overproduction of prefixes for speakers "forgaitherers", "forleits", "forordinar", "forstan", "furth" words, "ower", "owersettins", it's perhaps well-known of [?]starts[/?], "steerers", eh we get eh we get lots of words erm "inlat" for "invitation" is a good one. Erm whether, whether you'll have enough, I mean, potentially you've all of Scots, then you can outdo everybody erm. Erm, my favourite dictionary at the moment is erm, er I I I I was mischievous enough to give a paper and essay last year asking whether the dialect dictionary had its day. I have to say I said "No it hadn't" but it might [laugh] eh it it might need new forms and and one of the forms eh that that I think is a [inaudible] way forward and in many ways the Scots thesaurus is more exciting than the Scots, as I saw it, 's dictionary. And one of the best thesauruses is Glen Price's eh dictionary of of building and and, you know, these wee drawings that that show you, you know, the vocabulary of a Scottish house, for which there is no other word. That any builder, whether it's Scots or English, whatever his grammar, he has these words or or the structure of a town. Erm, I mean, you you get the idea ye can always spot out something there erm in in this dictionary. Absolutely, like even a window frame. Some of these words, ask any joiner, he has no other word and yet it's a Scots word. Eh but they're fascinating, these words. Some of my favourites, if I can indulge them, I don't know if they'll come up in your corpus, I don't know. A "clink" is, u-u- usually on leaded roofs, eh when you're joining two pieces of metal together, but newer techniques, when you've got newer materials like copper, apparently the technique's known as a "clinch". So the newer the material the more anglicised the word becomes.

And then "deafening" eh I mean eh "deafening" eh you know is s-s- somehow an active motion th-th- that, ye know, comes towards you, but there's this "deafening" that you, [laugh] [?]if a building's hazardous[/?], you keep it away from me. Erm, and "soldiers", ye know, in this ye know denotative use really as as something eh holding up a a structure eh of any sort, metal o-o- or or wooden. Erm I I I think that that th-th- they're brilliant. And and I think that these ways offer very sound evidence that that er Scots is very much a- alive. Erm I I mean another another example is is in agriculture eh y- when you, and these are comparable between Scots eh Scotland and Northern Ireland. Sandy Fenton's book on the No- farming in the North East er words work "the seasons round", ye know, "When judged dry enough the swathes were gathered into long winraas by means of a rake or tummlin-tam." I think this is actually on the blue handout, eh "and the rows were gathered sideways into clumps by the same implements eh to assist folk who were coling". Eh, ye know, these I think are are are dialect words par excellence because there is no other word, there is no English cognate. It's not the h- "house", "hoose", "home", "hame" er cognate syndrome.

And we've got this in Northern Ireland too. Jonathan Bell and Mervyn Watson's marvellous book "Irish Farming 1750 to eh 1900". I feel like setting this as a set book for students, each, about "flaxen" for instance, you've got "beet" and "sheaf" and "beets" and "bands" and "retting". There is no other word, and those who who have memories of it, eh even my students, these are the words they they they they have and are kept alive. And so this leads into eh the short story about the eh the the cutting the linen in that appeared i- in this wonderful collection, Ulster Scots collection by James Fenton, "Thonner and Thon" eh, The Lake, And I thought you might like a little bit of Ulster Scots erm that'll do it. Ehm "Naw a lock o guid tae the yin, an naen ava tae the ithers, wuz the shoart fine lint, lake wunnlestray, moistly and scrappy and hung'ry, mostly an scrappy an hung'ry grun; yit if saft, flush lint wuz chancy for the fairmer, frush, affen, unther the hannles, it garred the pooer wat the loof, ettlin ta get weegin. Sae thing tal an firm o itself wud dae baith weel. Ay, weegin, bennin an stretchin, weegin an pooin, cross the face o the braid flet, ye wrocht. An wrocht, for it wuz sore gaun, ill on the bak on the hans an airms, even wae hoagers tae hinther the scourgin." And I'm sure an Aberdeen farmer wouldn't be too far away in in reciting that eh t- too.

Eh well there are exciting prospects then for eh both lexicology and erm and and lexicography out of the corpus ahead of us erm, I'm skipping a bit here, eh erm erm erm. Though though eh eh if we turn then to eh phonology eh in my little corpus erm, these s- spellings although very diversified actually throw up many central issues in pronunciation in in Scots, eh and and force you to think what's, what is the rule and what's going on erm, the, i- in terms of stress, placement, in terms of realisation, in terms of er environmental conditioning on the realisations, "arreengements", "authenteecity", "comattee", eh "commeesioned", "commeesioners", "condeetion", "creetics", "creeticise", "creeticism", "eedition". I mean these're just eh f- v- very eh a few examples from the very early part of of of of the word list eh and wordlists have wonderful uses when you generate them from a corpus, eh y- you you do get a feeling of of something going on there but what's the rule and you've got plenty of evidence. You've got evidence for loss in the spellings, "assemlie", right, where you've got s- consonantal simplification there. Or where in English the final syllable part of the the the suffix would be a a a a weak vowel is is elided altogether, "dictionar", "leeterar", "ordinar", "necessar", "vocabular", right? What's going on there? The loss of weak intermedial syllables in in in in "intrist", "Margrit", erm a-a- "reglur", "patrins", right. But at the same time we've also got built in there metathesis, "modren" eh eh "patrins". Erm, David had an extract from the, David Horsbroch on the handout, "govrened" eh, an an "leitratur" eh you've got metathesis coming in there. Erm, in in in in this writing suggesting this is still very active in the speech community, erm, loss of erm weak i- initial syllables er "gree", "greeance", "greed" coming up there from the phonology. You can do, you can you can do a lot eh with with the corpus evidence even at that level; there's a concordance o o "modren" there erm. I almost find the way Scots being represented in these these texts that we we we've got, it's not simply a question of glottalisation, the "t" is being glottalised, but almost we have a glottal a glottal consonant as part of the system in in in in in all these words in in final position. So there's a lot can can can come at that level, the phonological level, erm from a corpus of Scots as well.

And turning then to eh grammar, erm it's it's well known erm that in in Middle Scots a distinction was made between the present participle and the gerund, and and here in my little sample we get this eh we get this displayed for "bairn [inaudible]" and "has a bairn", that is still active in my little corpus [inaudible] or or or, is it. There's plenty of examples; some of these are from the Helsinki Corpus as these references show, abundant examples of those [inaudible] the Edinburgh History of Scots of that eh group of Scots participle construction. But when we look at individual authors erm, we find that they deal with this problem in a different way so Dauvit Horsbroch, this is on your handout, underlined, he tends to go for both both both par- both the present participle and for the gerund ending in "IN" erm but in Ian Parsley writing in Ulster Scots, does make the system eh discrete, distinct eh, "The forehannd pynt A wis for makan at this confeerence wis at the steerars o Ulster Scots haes a chyce, politicisation or survival. Sae this isna juist a moral chyce o forderan the leid, sae as aa can uise it an no juist Protestants or Unionists, but it is a straight chyce between uisean the leid as a political fitbaa an watchan it dee or takan the leid awa fae politics an aw a frae, politics awa frae the leid an sae giean it a chance o survival. A wis fur giean ensamples eh frae screeds as haes been sat furth in Ullans no sae lang syne. But A'm thinkan ither fowk haes aye shawed whitwey monie sic texts gaes agin the tradeetions o guid Scots or guid Scots writein". And there's the "good Scots writing" in, aye, in there. And eh in the next paragraph you've got "gif we gae bak to the beginnin wi the Lord Laird". So that construction is still in existence and therefore the corpus forces you to deal with these problems.

Now coming closer to home, I felt I couldn't come to Glasgow an not mention Tom Leonard [laugh]. What does he do with this construction? "A thinka must be gon off ma nut. Av ey thoat though leasta always seemta be thinkin, either A'm jist aboot ti go off ma nut or else A'm awready off it. Even jist sitn dooin writn" [laugh] and erm "hawlin aw thi books ootma cupboard tryn to find oot hooit wuz, eh [laugh]. It takes me that long lookin fur it it's so annoyin" eh "A know that A'm sayn whut A mean". And and so sometimes an "n" sometimes an "i-n" and and used in- inconsistently, but maybe that's not what he is about. We we do get double modals erm in my little corpus eh "micht", "micht" could do it in in different ways. Eh throughout all these these these writers erm in my corpus of dramatic texts in Glasgow there were no double modals of this sort an I I take that to to be inf- editorial influence this this offended [inaudible] standard English and was ruled out. I I I didn't find any eh f- concord rules either in that corpus and I I wish now eh coming back here and thinking thinking of Glasgow an thinking of Falkirk, eh you've got not just double modals but double, double auxiliaries, ye know, "A'm urnae doin somethin" [laugh] just terrific, it offends all rules but seems so so intuitively acceptable, erm but but it does force you because corpus evidence is inescapable. I mean, what is it "maybe" or "maybes", and a lot of writers do have that "s" on "maybes", so what's going on, what's the rule? Erm, ye know, is the "maybes" a- analogous with the "aiblins" "s" th- that we we we get, erm and interestingly "aiblins" we find in my little corpus only in Ian Parsley that erm seems to be almost, Ian where there's historical choice he's going for it. Eh, I'm sure if we went out into Byres Road and asked the next hundred people "What does "aiblins" mean?", "Who use, d'you've "aiblins" in your street?", might not know what we're talkin about, er there's little consciousness of it, er so these are some examples of eh what could come out of y- your microcorpus erm erm on the basis of my my my recent eh eh little little academic corpus. Now how're we doing for time? Do you want me to
F606 We're running out.
M087 shut up? [laugh] Erm well erm. Right, couple of minutes more. Erm erm I mean the the other problem you you have in dealing with a corpus of Scots is is is not just the data itself but ideology surrounding the data and eh effectively an I I I'll just mention this, there are really three three three models. Th- there might be more; I can only think of three though. When I stuck out my neck and published eh in 1998, the convergence model, the dialectalisation model, the anglicisation model, right, Scots an English all one as Anglo-Saxon, the two diverged, national language, all converged together, and present day English, were all were all varieties of English one way or another. Erm C- Caroline, for whom Glasgow eh, coming back to it er er after a while, ye know, has a word "superficial", the differences in Scots are really superficial, cause they're all part of the overall English system. Eh, Caroline's latest idea that's in this Linguistic Politics book is eh is to argue against the dialectalisation model and go for language death. And that dignifies Scots, retains all the varieties of of of of of of of of separate autonomous linguistic status, so it's a deein, a deein leid. Eh but of course that raises other questions, therefore we're in a situation of language contact and therefore we've probably forced ourselves into a an analysis of of of of acrolect for English and basilect fo- for Scots.

Erm, the third model is to forget about the linguistics altogether and jus-jus-jus- just to invoke attitude and a perception; people believe that it's a language, and this twinkle in the eye that Scots people can have [inaudible] a language. But there's just no harm to believe it, sort of thing, and we're all descended from Mary Queen of Scots, heavens, whether it's true or not, it's it's good to think. We like these kind of myths and and and and and and why ever not? The difference is in Ulster, that the people who say "Och, Scots is a language, course Scots is a, in fact we've got two languages in fact: Ulster Scots is the second language". You know, deadly seriousness. It's it's more of an issue to to to to counteract. So this project that's being launched eh, ye know, eh there might've been a a a eh, it might've been a long time coming but the time couldn't have been better because eh to provide efforts are are at an unprecedented high. There's unprecedented momentum at the at the desire to revive and at the experience of reviving, both in Scotland and in in Northern Ireland. Eh, and I think eh that the six papers in eh in in in Linguistic Policy poli- Politics are unprecedented eh in in in their publication: six academic papers in Scots totally, totally answering the challenge that Scots is purely sociolectal, because in these papers your interest above all in this is the message and not the messenger, and I think that practice is the answer to that challenge that Scots is just eh d- is is just a social dialect th- that's removed.

But of course there's [?]action away[/?]. The Good Friday agreement and subsequent legislation commits Northern Ireland to revival, whether you like it or not. If you don't like it you have to change the policies, right. That's that's a hard one, that's not a good option really because there's too much else involved, and a lot that's far more important than providing Scots in the Good Friday agreement. So the best we can do is influence the policy and and go for the best experience, the best example and I think that's where a broad consensus is emerging an coming through the language and politics symposia that that I've been organising i- in in Belfast. The UK government is, and Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, is committed to supporting Scots eh in terms of the measures erm outlined in part two of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The UK government and, therefore has to follow the Scottish Executive, eh has undertaken and is committed to recognising the value of Scots and promoting its study, taking resolute action to promote the use of Scots, committed to fostering cross-border links with other users of Scots in Northern Ireland, elsewhere, and to foster mutual understanding between users of Scots and the national language, English.

And if you read elsewhere quite clearly, another commitment is to avoid any discrimination against Scots, and that's a wonderful challenge for us all to face. What they've not done is eh recognise Scots under part three of the European Charter, to recognise Gaelic and to recognise Irish in Northern Ireland, and activists in Northern Ireland are very eager to have Scots in Northern Ireland recognised under part three of the European Charter, erm and this is clearly the way forward for what has now come into existence as the cross party committee, the cross pairty curn, o the Scots leid, in the Scottish Parliament, and so I'd like to end eh, if I may, eh by by reading you eh, really erm eh a a mandate eh for the UK government eh for the Scottish Executive that that that eh David Horsbroch has come up with and which, eh I I'm a member of the curn, but I could envisage the the curn putting forward eh very soon and you might want to follow this on the handout, page one of the handout. "Whit Scots Wants Fae Govrenment. Sae nou A come tae ma pirlicue an a short leit o whit the Scots leid wants fae Govrement. A'm shair that the twalmonth bygane haes brocht supporters o Scots naur tae the things thay want for Scots. We can awreadie see some forderment in Ulster. But whit we want nou is for the leid as a hail tae get equal staunin fir the follaein tae tak place. One, yin, the Unitit Kinrik Govrenment, ower marked tyme, tae mak part three staunin in the European Chairter for Leids o the Curn patent tae Scots. Twa, the Executive o Scotland tae mak Scots a subject in its ain richt in the scuils alang wi siller for trainin teachers in the leid. Three, the Executive o Scotland tae mak a meinister for Scots that sees the leid fordered an weil-plenished in public lyfe". A minis-, imagine a minister for Scots. "The Executive o Scotland tae tak on the follaein in Govrenment in Scotland. A, Scots signs in the Scots Pairlament biggin an admeinstration that wad gie the leid a richt recognition in the daeins o govrenment. B, Tae gie oot antrin govrenment leitratur wrutten in Scots. C, Tae sponsor a dictionar o Scots terms sib tae parliament for tae gie it a lift tae the uiss o the leid in admeinistration an the political warld. An fither, the Executive o Scotland tae foun a bodie for makkin Scots medium braidcaisting wi its heidmaist remit as programmes for younkers. Six, a jynt bodie for Scots in Scotland an Ulster for tae bring thegither the policies in the baith an mak siccar the wrutten leid is conformed to tradition, tentie o spoken language. Heizin Scots tae part three staunin in the European Chairter would cuiver maist o thir heids, but Govrenment wad hae tae pit thaim in place first. It cuid dae nae mair waur the nou as pit a whein Scots signs up in the pairlament, alang wi Scots leitratur, an leuk again at the way it deals wi the leid, wi the ae leid on baith sydes o the Sheuch. Sae athoot a sair fecht it cuid dae awa wi the warst discrimination an brings the leids til a guid accord."

So, at the outset of this wonderful new project, the SCOTS Corpus Project, here in the University of Glasgow, I'd love to say, but it's hard as someone from the University of Edinburgh, to say the best university in Scotland, eh [laugh] where eh where knowledge of Scots has never been greater, the status of Scots in Scotland has never been more controversial. Politically, vis-a-vis the European government rela- ratifying the European charter, it's still a cause without a champion, and there's a real danger of it becoming a party political issue along nationalist lines, but let's hope the cross part curn will will will will will defuse that one. Socially, Scots still seems an issue that insufficient people feel strongly enough about, or feel that they benefit from, or about which they want to remove the causes of stigmatisation. But writing in Scots an doubtless broadcasts like Fiona's tomorrow morning, will help remove some of that stigmatisation. Economically, Scots seems an issue without central funding, a hundred and ten thousand per annum, it's a pittance for government these days, and probably this project got more than that, in itself, eh, from the Engineering and Physical Research Council.

Emotionally, there there is the fear of the unknown in in that is Scots to be championed in addition to English or instead of English as it once was? But if it's in addition to English, why bother? Unlike Northern Ireland at least, and happily, what is not controversial is that Scots is not a marker of politics. Most Unionist party supporters are conservatives, labour, liberals, in Scotland that is: Unionist party supporters in Scotland speak Scots. Or religious: Catholics as much as Protestants speak Scots and nobody can tell the difference, an anyway it doesn't matter if they do or they do not. Again, unlike Northern Ireland. Nor is Scots socially divisive in terms of territory or ethnicity, even second gene- generation immigrants speak fluent Glaswegian. Nor is Scots viewed as oppositional with or confrontational to Gaelic, in a if-them-therefore-us syndrome. Nevertheless, still unlike Northern Ireland, Scotland stands more happily in a state of some preparedness towards revival. There has there has been thought of revival in at least two books, the the "Scots Language Planning for Modern Usage", which arose out of a conference here at the University of Glasgow more than twenty years ago; some of you perhaps can recall that event, and Derrick McClure's "Why Scots Matters". There's an active literary scene, there's been discussions and proposals for a standardised orthography.

There has been strong urging by academics, perhaps most recently through the proposal for an Institute of the Languages of Scotland, which certainly deserves to be funded in full as an immediate priority, an which, if funded as it should be, would instantly raise the annual funding for Scots many hundredfold.

And so, to conclude, Scots in Scotland is currently much better off linguistically ah than in Northern Ireland, but much poorer in No- off politically than in Northern Ireland. The Good Friday agreement has provided a language policy for Northern Ireland, including a Bill of Rights which contains language rights. Scotland has no language policy although at least the European Charter of Human Rights has been incorporated into Scots Law. Collectively and individually, we must urge the Scottish Executive to create a language policy for Scotland as a matter of urgency, for Scotland will not remain unaffected by the unstoppable momentum in Northern Ireland. The recent review of the first year of the Scottish Parliament published by Her Majesty's Stationary Office, Hassan and Warhurst 2000, there's no mention of language let alone a language policy. As far as Scots is concerned the Good Friday agreement necessitates and commits large scale revival to implement and fulfil the agreement's human rights. It will require ideological persuasion as well as the creation of practical communicative resources; to change the policy seems nigh impossible. The best we can do is influence the implet- -mentation. One of these is to certainly to avoid the worst excesses of Ullans. There will nee- there there will be a need to deal with prejudice and ignorance on all sides. I believe, however, that if, an it's a big if, a sufficient critical mass of the population becomes persuaded of the worthiness of the revival of Scots, revival is potentially all achievable, however bad it might appear to some, and that nothing is impossible, assuming, often against tremendous odds, the survival of the Good Friday agreement, and that's needed for lots more far more important reasons. Each of us, eager for the maintenance of the imperative present peace in Northern Ireland must work in our individual ways to ensure the implementation an maintenance of the provisions of the Good Friday agreement and that therefore includes the language policy. Scotland needs to watch as Northern Ireland needs to watch it. There may be lessons to learn. If the child can be the father of the man, perhaps the vestigal dialect in the colony could yet prove to be the father of the revived language in the homeland. //Thank ye very much.//
F606 //[audience clapping]//

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APA Style:

Inaugural speech by John Kirk to launch the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech. 2018. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved December 2018, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=48&highlight=or where in english the final syllable part of the the the suffix would be a a a a weak vowel is is elided altogether.

MLA Style:

"Inaugural speech by John Kirk to launch the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2018. Web. December 2018. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=48&highlight=or where in english the final syllable part of the the the suffix would be a a a a weak vowel is is elided altogether.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Inaugural speech by John Kirk to launch the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech," accessed December 2018, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=48&highlight=or where in english the final syllable part of the the the suffix would be a a a a weak vowel is is elided altogether.

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2018. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.

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Information about Document 48

Inaugural speech by John Kirk to launch the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech

Audio

Audio audience

Adults (18+)
Informed lay people
Specialists
For gender Mixed
Audience size N/A

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Partially scripted

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2002
Recording person id 612
Size (min) 45
Size (mb) 259

Audio medium

Other Public address

Audio setting

Education
Recording venue University staff club
Geographic location of speech Glasgow

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other N/A

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 625
Year of transcription 2002
Year material recorded 2002
Word count 6982

Audio type

Lecture/talk, sermon, public address/speech
Other Inaugural public address for the SCOTS Project

Author

Author details

Author id 87
Forenames John
Initials M
Surname Kirk
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation University Lecturer
Place of birth Falkirk
Region of birth Stirlingshire
Birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Belfast
Region of residence Northern Ireland
Father's place of birth Brightons
Father's region of birth Stirlingshire
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's place of birth Brightons
Mother's region of birth Stirlingshire
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At home
German Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes At work

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 87
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation University Lecturer
Place of birth Falkirk
Region of birth Stirlingshire
Birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Belfast
Region of residence Northern Ireland
Father's place of birth Brightons
Father's region of birth Stirlingshire
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's place of birth Brightons
Mother's region of birth Stirlingshire
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Stlg
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At home
German Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes At work

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 606
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Academic
Place of birth Edinburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's place of birth Leith
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's place of birth Edinburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
Scots No Yes No Yes Work

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