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Why are the nine years of destructive invasion and attempted conquest of Scotland unknown to English literary criticism? This chapter shows why we have forgotten this unusually brutal invasive war of 1542–1550 and why it matters to remember it. It introduces the ‘British history’ of Geoffrey of Monmouth, through which English kings claimed feudal overlordship of Scotland. It shows how Henry VIII deployed Geoffrey’s history in his Declaration of 1542 to justify invasion, but also how Henry’s rhetoric and strategy disavowed any desire to conquer in the pretence that he was reluctantly forced into reminding the Scots of English overlordship. Such rhetoric, subsequently repeated and reprinted, helped both justify English claims and trivialise the war to the point of oblivion in modern English historiography. The chapter reads a neglected Scottish text by William Lamb which, opposing Henry’s claims by appealing to the law of nations, exposes the precarious fictionality of English claims to overlordship and its lack of credibility in a broader European context.
Scots, like too many other European languages, is viewed as possessing a dearth of expressivity in spite of evidence to the contrary. This chapter documents the fact that Scots possesses a wide range of forms of expressivity as part of its grammatical repertoire – including most notably echo word formations. Echo words are a type of apophonic reduplication where a root, stem, or other morphosyntactic constituent is partially reduplicated and there is a concomitant change in the echoant; the reduplicated, or copied, portion has no independent semantic value. The change in the copy portion can involve vowel ablaut, consonant alternation/substitution, or tone/register changes.
In the context of English and Spanish in contact, issues of identity arise at various levels, including: how people’s national and ethnic identities are bound up with their language choices; how the national and ethnic identities were formed historically, and are continually re-formed, in conjunction with languages; how languages themselves are defined – how the English and Spanish (or Castilian) languages came to be recognised as such, and likewise for Scots or Galician or Catalan as languages apart, where many other varieties are regarded as dialects; how contact between English and Spanish, which principally means their knowledge and use by bilinguals, affects these conceptions of languages and national and ethnic identities. This chapter examines these issues in terms not just of Spanish and English, but of Spanishes and Englishes in their global diversity, together with the other languages with which they share multilingual spaces. A wide range of recent studies on bilingual identities are taken into consideration, as is current work on the effects of globalisation, superdiversity and translanguaging.
The National Archives (Kew) contain a small trove of court records from the province of East Florida. These records indicate at least eight separate courts were in operation during the British period from 1763 to 1784. Until now, these legal papers were thought to have been lost or destroyed. They reveal an unexplored world of British and colonial American legal history. St Augustine, East Florida, was a southern colonial legal hub in the British Empire before, during, and after North American independence. This chapter examines the judges of the province and their links to Scotland, England, and British colonies to the north of the province. Allocation of legal positions in East Florida reflected extant Scottish and English networks and connections found throughout the Empire.
The spelling conventions for dental fricatives in Anglic languages (Scots and English) have a rich and complex history. However, the various – often competing – graphemic representations (<þ>, <ð>, <y> and <th>, among others) eventually settled on one digraph, <th>, for all contemporary varieties, irrespective of the phonemic distinction between /ð/ and /θ/. This single representation is odd among the languages’ fricatives, which tend to use contrasting graphemes (cf. <f> vs <v> and <s> vs <z>) to represent contrastive voicing, a sound pattern that emerged nearly a millennium ago. Close examinations of the scribal practices for English in the late medieval period, however, have shown that northern texts had begun to develop precisely this type of distinction for dental fricatives as well. Here /ð/ was predominantly represented by <y> and /θ/ by <th> (Jordan 1925; Benskin 1982). In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, this ‘Northern System’ collapsed, due to the northward spread of a London-based convention using exclusively <th> (Stenroos 2004). This article uses a rich body of corpus evidence for fifteenth-century Scots to show that, north of the North, the phonemic distinction was more clearly mirrored by spelling conventions than in any contemporary variety of English. Indeed, our data for Older Scots local documents (1375–1500) show a pattern where <y> progressively spreads into voiced contexts, while <th> recedes into voiceless ones. This system is traced back to the Old English positional preferences for <þ> and <ð> via subsequent changes in phonology, graphemic repertoire and letter shapes. An independent medieval Scots spelling norm is seen to emerge as part of a developing, proto-standard orthographic system, only to be cut short in the sixteenth century by top-down anglicisation processes.
The usual development of OE [ɑld] in words such as old in Scots is to auld, reflecting the development of this sequence in northern dialects more generally. But in some Scots dialects other pronunciations of these words, reminiscent of dialects of English south of the Ribble–Humber Line, are found. These forms, of the type owld, are found across Lowland Scotland, with particular concentrations in the far north and southwest. Origins in Irish English and English in England have been suggested for this feature of Scots but these hypotheses have not been explored. Aitken & Macafee (2002: 61–2) instead argue for an endogenous origin of both auld and owld, but this proposed double endogenous development of OE [ɑld] is problematic in a number of ways. In this article, I examine the history of these developments in Scots in comparison to their development in dialects of English in England and Ireland. The lack of evidence for the owld development in Older Scots suggests that these forms are of relatively recent origin. Crucially, the Eighteenth-Century English Phonology Database (ECEP) reveals that the owld pronunciations were in fact a feature of early forms of Standard English. Furthermore, several characteristic features of Irish English have spread into southwest Scotland, and the distribution of owld forms in the area fits this pattern. Thus Scots forms such as owld are not the result of endogenous development, but have their origin in English, in the case of southwest Scotland at least in part from Irish English, and elsewhere in Scotland from early forms of Standard English. These owld forms have been ‘localised’ and reinterpreted as ‘Scots’, alongside or replacing original auld. The analysis of the origins of this feature highlights not only the role of contact with varieties of English in the development of Scots, but also the importance of sources such as the ECEP database for understanding the historical phonology of Scots and English.
This chapter carries out a critical survey of early modern attitudes to English accents and dialects in order to show how effectively Shakespeare and his contemporaries activated their connotations in performance and how marked voices lent local resonance and social specificity to their characters and to the fictive world of their plays. Despite their lower prestige, English accents and dialects other than the emerging standard known as the ‘King’s English’, or ‘usual speech’, had wider and more varied dramaturgical functions than merely serving as comic caricature of specific social types. In fact, closer attention to a selection of plays – some of which are discussed at greater length in mini case-studies embedded in the central section of this chapter – produces radically new readings of well-known characters and plays, including Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor or Edgar in King Lear. This chapter also reconsiders how early modern anti-theatricalists were particularly concerned about the actor’s voice and its ability to reproduce high- and low-rank accents and phonetic registers.
The author attributes the claimed migrations of the Irish into Argyll to a set of élite origin myths, finding no support in archaeological evidence. He goes on to ask how the Iron Age populations of Argyll established and changed their personal and group identity.
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