Scottish Newspapers, Language and Identity

Scottish Newspapers, Language and Identity

Scottish Newspapers, Language and Identity

Scottish Newspapers, Language and Identity

Synopsis

The first decade since the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament has seen the emergence of a few-found national confidence. 'Scottishness' is clearly alive and flourishing. Straddling the pre- and post devolution years, this book focuses on the language of one of the most common and influential text types in Scotland: the national newspapers. To what extent does the use of identifiably Scottish lexical features help them to maintain their distinctive Scottish identity and appeal to their readership? Which Scottish words and phrases do the papers use and where, is it a symbolic gesture, do they all behave in the same way, and has this changed since devolution?Based on a sizeable corpus of newspaper texts, this book offers new and detailed insights into Scottish language and its usage by the Scottish press. Combining analysis of broad trends with detailed discussion of individual Scottish words and phrases, its timely publication coincides with a period when interest in things Scottish is at an all time high.

Excerpt

In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in Scottish identity and Scottish language varieties, but to date there has been no in-depth investigation of the link between the two. This book attempts to address that gap by focusing on the language of one of the most common and influential text types in Scotland, as elsewhere: the national newspapers. It studies the link between language and identity in the Scottish press and argues that Scottish newspapers create a special relationship with their readers based on their shared Scottish identity by using elements of Scottish language - specifically Scots lexis (see section 1.3.1 for definition). the main focus is therefore linguistic, though reference is made to other areas of research such as sociological and historical viewpoints where appropriate. Contrary to popular opinion, Scottish language is not restricted to the tartan realms of Burns Suppers and poetry readings; rather it forms a contemporary and significant part of most Scots' Scottish identity and daily experience. It is found in the distinctive accents, in conversations overheard on trains, in words used to discuss the weather, and, crucially for this study, in the language of newspapers. Scottish identity is alive and flourishing and there is a new-found national confidence fuelled, no doubt, by the significant changes in Scotland's political landscape with the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament after a gap of nearly three centuries. This book straddles the pre- and post-devolution years by analysing the language of the newspapers during 1995 and 2005. What, if any, difference has a decade and devolution made?

The northernmost country of the uk, Scotland covers some 30,414 square miles (78,772 square kilometres). Although half the size of England in terms . . .

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