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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 08:59 GMT
Canny Scots create muckle archive
SCOTS homepage
The SCOTS website will go live on St Andrew's Day
A new online archive aimed at recording the Scots tongue in all its forms is going live on St Andrew's Day.

The Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech (SCOTS) has been put together by the University of Glasgow and has taken three years to compile.

Comprising 400 texts from Broad Scots to Scottish English, it is thought to be the largest work of its kind.

Its creators want to use it to capture the country's rich linguistic, historical and cultural background.

The university claims it will offer the most detailed analysis yet of the linguistic differences that exist in Scotland.

We need to preserve information on minority languages, such as Scots, for future generations
Dr Wendy Anderson
Glasgow University
The diverse documents which make up the website include copies of prose, poetry, drama, essays, letters and business writing in every type of Scottish dialect.

Each entry comes complete with cultural and social information about the text and its author.

Audio and video material, with transcriptions, will be available on the site

People will be encouraged to add their voices to the archive and the university will continue to add donated texts to the resource.

It is hoped it will be used by researchers, teachers and members of the public from across the globe.

Common language

Dr Wendy Anderson, of the university's department of English language, said: "SCOTS is flexible for research into questions of word survival and regional distribution and features of grammar and pronunciation.

"For example, we're interested in the currency of distinctively Scottish words, such as gallus, canny, muckle, sonsie and braw.

"Most Scots know these words - indeed they are often used to stereotype the people of Scotland - but are they actually still used? By whom? Where? In what contexts? And what about the grammatical features of Scots?

"Some people might frown on 'yous' as a plural form of 'you' but research shows that it's overwhelmingly common in spoken language and written representations of speech.

"We need to preserve information on minority languages, such as Scots, for future generations.

"You might say it's been a muckle and gallus undertaking."

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