Cairtes in the Scots Leid
Author(s): Billy Kay
Copyright holder(s): Billy Kay
Whiles I compare it tae an undergrund activity preed by consentin adults in the privacy o their ain hames! Despite this restrictit uis o the leid for a lang time, it hes aye been the medium o a great literary tradeition at the makars o the praisent day is eident tae continue. Thir cairtes is pairt o a process tae normalise Scots, tak it frae the private tae the public domain an gie fowk a sense o whit it wes and whit it will be again - a leid o mense an virr that will aye express the smeddum o the Scots fowk an their ties tae the land an its culture. In daein this we ar takin pairt in a process that is dingin doun barriers an biggin brigs aw ower Europe, whaur aince suppressit leids an natiouns ar reassertin theirsels. They ar threapin for their veice tae be heard in a Europe o a Hunder Flags an a hunder tongues, a Europe whaur linguistic diversity is regairdit wi pleisure raither than wi suspeicion. For the relationship atween Scots an English hes monie parallels in a wheen European kintraes; Friesian an Dutch in the Laigh Kintras, Occitan an French in France, Catalan an Spanish, or Galician an Spanish in Spain. Aw thay leids cam frae similar ruits, but gaed their ain gait through elangin separate political entities. In maist cases it wes anely whan they got thirlit tae political union wi mair pouerfu neebours at their mither tongues stairtit tae erode in competeitioun wi the standard language o the centrist states they belangit. The naiture o fowk's identity houever is sic that aw thae leids hes tholit the straiks agin thaim an bidit on in a mair restrictit uis as the ilka-day language o the fowk. In monie cases this strang fowk-feelin wi the leids gart thaim that spoke thaim aw the mair determinit tae haud on tae whit they hed. No sae lang syne at wes restrictit tae bodies jalousin at the erosion hed tae stop there wi thaim. Nou the same fowk is gaen muckle faurer an threapin at the rebiggin o the leid maun stairt here wi thaim. They hae decidit at ye ar either pairt o the problem, or pairt o the solution, an ar determinit tae be pairt o the solution for their mither tongue.
That is whit thir cairtes is about - heizin up the vernacular o the fowk tae its richtfu place in our national life, an culturally reclaimin our land through seein our place names whaur they belang - on our national map. Tae the feck o the fowk that stey there, Jeddart hes never been Jedburgh, Glesca gey rarely Glasgow, Aiberdeen nae aften Aberdeen. Yet it wes the anglicised form that aye appearit. Nou for the first time - I am gey shuir no for the last time - it is the Scots form gien precedence ower the English. The leid, the touns an the land bund thrang thegither on the cairtes as they aye hae been on the guid Scots tongue o the fowk. Hugh MacDiarmid, the faither o the Scots literary rennaissance earlier in the century, scrievit thir words;
For we hae faith in Scotland's hidden poo'ers
The present's theirs, but a' the past an future's oors.
We ar eident tae seize the praisent for Scots an Scotland by kythin tae her fowk at her spoken language can be seen in this licht as a formal leid for a formal purpose. This cairte then is a challenge tae our praisent, a dedicatioun tae our past an a declaratioun o our faith in the future o Scots as a leivin European leid o the 21st century.
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Cairtes in the Scots Leid. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=778.
"Cairtes in the Scots Leid." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=778.
The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Cairtes in the Scots Leid," accessed January 2021, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=778.
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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2021. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.