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Scottish politics dissected from a left, pro-independence stance. Each week, award-winning broadcaster and journalist, Lesley Riddoch chews over the week’s news with former media lecturer and Dundee United fan, Pat Joyce. If you like intelligent, quirky chat about Scottish society and culture, and Scottish, UK and international politics analysed from a Scottish perspective; this podcast is for you.

Feb 14, 2009

In this week's Aftermath, Billy Kay, Susan Morrison and the Glenrothes posse pull their seats up close to the microphone and talk about Scots the language. As ever, the Riddoch Questions crew goes all over the place and reaches no conclusions.

Duncan Sneddon
eleven and a half years ago

Billy\'s richt - Scots is a livin language, an aw forms o it maun be valued as pairt o the cultur an life o the Scots folk.

Ewan Macintyre
eleven and a half years ago

Did the original Scots speak Scots? The answer seems to be - Yes. Here is the concise, easily memorised way in which Michael Alexander described the linguistic position in Scotland in the late 15th century in A History of English Literature published by Palgrave in 2007:

\"In the late 15th century the best poetry in English came from Scotland. This kingdom, united under Malcolm Canmore in the late 11th century, had four tongues: Highland Gaelic, lowland English, clerkly Latin, and lordly Anglo-Norman French. Since the 7th century, Engliah had been spoken on the east coast from the River Tweed to Edinburgh. Its speakers called the tongue of the Gaels, who since the 5th century had come into Argyll from Ireland, Scottis. A Gael was in Latin Scotus, a name then extended to Lowlanders, who called the northern English they spoke Inglis. After the 14th century, a century of war with England, the Lowlanders called their speech Scottis, and called the Gaelic of the original Scots Ersche, later Erse (Irish).\"

Michael Alexander held the chair of English at the University of St. Andrews.

These awkward (to some!) facts about Scotland`s linguistic history have been known about by academics and have been successfully suppressed for a very long time.