The distinctiveness of Scots

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The speech-forms in use at the extreme ends of the Anglo-Saxon dialect continuum eventually acquired the status of national languages in the kingdoms of Scotland and England; and though the Scottish form lost this status in the aftermath of the Union of the Crowns, the substantial differences which still existed between spoken Scots and English were often reflected, albeit crudely and unsystematically, in texts purporting to represent Scottish speech. Later, the differences came to be examined in a more careful and scholarly fashion. Though Scots was never a fully autonomous form, it has been recognised from at least the sixteenth century as integral to Scotland’s cultural identity.


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