::Scots language

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Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster (where the local dialect is known as Ulster Scots).<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language which was historically restricted to most of the Highlands, the Hebrides and Galloway after the Middle Ages.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

Because there are no universally accepted criteria for distinguishing languages from dialects, scholars and other interested parties often disagree about the linguistic, historical and social status of Scots.<ref name="English Language 1992. p.894">A.J. Aitken in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, Oxford University Press 1992. p.894</ref> Although a number of paradigms for distinguishing between languages and dialects do exist, these often render contradictory results. Broad Scots is at one end of a bipolar linguistic continuum, with Scottish Standard English at the other.<ref name="Stuart-Smith-phonology">Stuart-Smith J. Scottish English: Phonology in Varieties of English: The British Isles, Kortman & Upton (Eds), Mouton de Gruyter, New York 2008. p.47</ref> Scots is often regarded as one of the ancient varieties of English, yet it has its own distinct dialects.<ref name="English Language 1992. p.894"/> Alternatively, Scots is sometimes treated as a distinct Germanic language, in the way Norwegian is closely linked to, yet distinct from, Danish.<ref name="English Language 1992. p.894"/>

A 2010 Scottish Government study of "public attitudes towards the Scots language" found that 64% of respondents (around 1,000 individuals being a representative sample of Scotland's adult population) "don't really think of Scots as a language", but it also found that "the most frequent speakers are least likely to agree that it is not a language (58%) and those never speaking Scots most likely to do so (72%)".<ref name="Public Attitudes">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In the 2011 Scottish census, a question on Scots language ability was featured.


Scots language sections
Intro  Nomenclature  History  Status  Number of speakers  Literature  Orthography  Grammar  Phonology   See also   References  External links  

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