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Scottish Newspapers, Language and Identity

Fiona M Douglas

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The first decade of the new Scottish Parliament has seen the emergence of a new-found national confidence. 'Scottishness' is clearly alive and flourishing. This book offers new and detailed insights into Scottish language and its usage by the Scottish press. To what extent does the use of identifiably Scottish lexical features help them to maintain their distinctive Scottish identity and appeal to their readership? Which Scottish words and phrases do the papers use and where, is it a symbolic gesture, do they all behave in the same way, and has this changed since devolution?

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1. Introduction
2. What is Scottish Identity?
3. What is Scottish Language?
4. Newspapers and Their Readers
5. A Limited Identity
6. A Multi-Faceted and Formulaic Identity
7. A Changing Identity?
8. Conclusion.

About the Author

Fiona M. Douglas is a Lecturer in English Language at the University of Leeds.


This impressive audit and analysis of the use of Scots in Scottish newspapers both confirms and overturns certain impressionistic notions bout the role of the Scots language in journalism... That Douglas's study opens up so many potential avenues for future research is testament to the diligence of the author.
- Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday, Scottish Language
An engaged and interesting survey, both theoretical and practical, Fiona Douglas's book takes on the skewed, contradictory, paradoxically static and dynamic beast that is Scottish national identity and examines how it is reflected, refracted, even shaped by the way newspapers use the Scots language... In the ongoing debate about the general future of newspapers, it is a reminder that the specific identity of the Scottish press, its distinctiveness and the distinct role it plays is not underestimated, least of all by those who work in it.
- Joe Owens, All Media Scotland