Recommend to your Librarian

Northern and Insular Scots

Robert McColl Millar

Paperback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (PDF) i

The Scots dialects of northern Scotland, Orkney and Shetland are among the most traditional varieties of ‘English’, exhibiting features not current elsewhere for centuries. Until recently, they were spoken in communities whose traditional occupations have encouraged the equation of speech with local identity. They have all also been affected by contact with Gaelic, or Norse, or both. In recent years, however, the decline of traditional industries has been matched by the discovery of oil off their coasts, encouraging in-migration of speakers of many varieties of English and other languages. How well have these varieties maintained their traditional natures at the start of the 21st century?

Show more


1. Introduction
2. Phonetics and Phonology
3. Morphosyntax
4. Lexis
5. History, including changes in progress
6. Survey of previous works and annotated bibliography
7. Texts

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).


[a] skilful integration of seven dialect areas, with different histories, into a coherent whole ...erudite accounts of settlement histories and lifestyles... In addition to demonstrating Robert McColl Millar's profound knowledge of varieties of Scots, it radiates a commitment to the area... The series promises to be a most welcome contribution to the knowledge of "alternative histories of English".
- Gunnel Melchers, English Worldwide

Also in this series