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Modern Scots

An Analytical Survey

Robert McColl Millar

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A textbook overview of the structure, use and diversity of Modern Scots

This textbook overview of Modern Scots provides a description and analysis of the language covering lexical, phonological and structural patterns. It presents evidence for the diversity of the language through illustrations from newly collected fieldwork material. Frequent, detailed analysis of local variation and dialect is combined with a central focus is on the overall patterning of Scots. McColl Millar also examines the present and future of Scots, considering both its use in literature and other media and ongoing language policy and planning.

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Some preliminaries

Chapter 1: Scots: languages and cultures, peoples and lands

Chapter 2: Resources

Chapter 3: Phonology

Chapter 4: Lexis

Chapter 5: Structure: the Grammar of Modern Scots

Chapter 6: Scots used creatively: literature and beyond

Chapter 7: Chapter 7: The Sociolinguistics of Scots

Chapter 8: Chapter 8: Scots: a once and future language?


About the Author

Robert McColl Millar is Reader in Linguistics in the School of Language & Literature at the University of Aberdeen. His books include Northern and Insular Scots (2007), Authority and Identity. A Sociolinguistic History of Europe before the Modern Age (2010) and English Historical Sociolinguistics (2012).


This book offers a fascinating, carefully-developed and thought-provoking account of Scots and its uses by a leading authority on the subject. It is at points quite demanding, yet clearly the work of an excellent teacher who can make complex ideas comprehensible. It draws upon a lifetime of work in the field, and in a number of places – a rather special and in my view valuable feature – on the author’s own personal experience. I recommend it without hesitation.

- Professor Jeremy Smith, University of Glasgow

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