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Lecture 2.

English spoken in Orkney and Shetland

Orkney and Shetland, known as the Northern Isles, are the most northerly units of land in the British Isles. The Shetland archipelago consists of well over 100 islands, 15 of which are inhabited. Orkney is much closer to the Scottish mainland, that is why the Orkney dialect is less distinct form Scottish English. There are many similarities between Orkney and Shetland with regard to history, population structure, culture and language. The islands have been subjected to different kinds of immigration: the Norse settlers first arriving in the 9th century, the Scots gradually taking over from the early Middle Ages onwards and the Dutch and German tradesmen in the Hansa period. The Northern Isles today are modern British societies, with execellent educational establishments and a highly developed infrastructure. S now has a population of about 23,000 and O about 20,000. Language After the Viking invasion, O and S adopted the language of the Scandinavian settlers, Norn, as a native language. Norn was the dominant language for at least 500 years, until the 14th century when a variety of Scottish replaced Norn. Today the dialects spoken in the Northern Islea must be described as varieties of Scots with a substantial component of Scandinavian, manifested above all in the lexicon and in the phonology and to a lesser extent in grammar. The speech community is bidialectal with access to a choice of two forms of speech: a form of Standard Scottish English and the other, a traditional dialect: Shetland and Orcadian. Morphology, syntax and lexicon

1. VERBS 1.1.Verbal morphology Somehoo hes never been da sam since he selled oot ta yon oil company. Somehow he has never been the same since he sold out to that oil company He flipit up his trousers. (S) he folded up his trousers aet t tten/aeten brak brok/ bruik bracken/ broken geng go gd went gien gone g(y)aan going O. Sheus knittan. Sheus deuan her knitten. Du minds me aafil o dee grandfaider. (S) So I grips and kerries her ta da hoose .. .. I am we ir Du is you ir He is dey ir . I wis we wir du wis you wir he wis dey wir we hed you hed dey hed A given verb may be strong in Standard English, but weak in Scots.

Regular verbs in the 2 and 3 form end in ed, -it (S)/-id (O) or t. There is great variation in the forms of irregular verbs In contrast with Standard English, a distinction in form is made between verbal adjectives/ present participles and verbal nouns. The present indicative: The s ending is used not only in the 3rd pers but also in the 2nd after the informal du (S) and thu/thoo (O) in the historic present, the s ending is also used in the 1st person sg. The present and past-tense paradigms of the verbs ta be and ta hae in Shetland dialect are:

I hae/hiv we hae/hiv I hed Du hes you hae du hed He hes dey hae he hed

1.2.Agreement Dis horses pulls weel. Plural nouns functioning as subjects combine with verbs An owld man commented: We wir boarn ta help idders. ending in-s Anidder character said: I winder what da idders wis boarn for? Der a boat hoose yonder. Der folk here fae Sweden and Norway. They wir a coo. Dey wir no money dan 1.3.Tense I war paid him afore that (O). Im been dere twartree times (S) . A remarkable feature unique to O and S is the use of be rather than have as a perfective auxiliary, not restricted to verbs of motion In Shetland dialect der corresponds to there is and there are A frozen form is also used for the past tense there was/ there were in O they wir and in S dey wir

1.4. Modality Hell no can deu that. . In Scottish English double modals are allowed to occur. In contrast, in Shetland and Orkney doubles modals do not occur with the exception of structures containing can in the sense of be able to in Od. bst had to, must man must may, sall (the 1st person sg form is often contracted to Is, the past form is sood) will can, must and have to are also used The subjunctive form bees is reported in (O).

He bst til a come alang da banks. . Sh sood a hed a lamb. She should have had a lamb. ( note the use of a, a form of hae have, after certain modal verbs) Well can stert cuttan the morn if hid bees dry.

Well be able to start cutting tomorrow if it is dry 1.5. Negation Da fok fae sooth aye mention at dey canna understand (S) People from the south (i.e. outsiders) always mention that they cant understand. Soodna we try dat? . Am no ready yet. . 2. Nouns 2.1. Article usage a uncan man (S) a strange man gaan tae the kirk/ the skuil, makkan the dinner (O) da caald the cold (S) dan cam da hairst then came the autumn 2.2. Plural forms Breider brothers, een eyes, shn shoes kye cows The kye, sir / the Keiser 3. Pronouns I Du (you) He Shui/ sh Hit We You Dey me dee (you) him her hit wis you dem my/mi, mine(s) dy/di, dine(s) his her(s) hits wir(s) your(s) dir(s) The forms of the pronoun in the N, Acc and gen case in the Shetland dialect are. For the 2nd pers. Sg, there is a chice between du (informal) and you (formal) O d has a similar pronominal system, the only different forms being, thu/ thoo and hid. The regular plural is s, but irregular plurals are still often heard in Shetland dialect The indefinite article is always a, before vowels and consonants The definite article is da in Shetland and they in Orkney is used with a number of nouns with which it would not be used in Standard English (names of seasons, meals, illnesses and institutions)

As in Scottish English, verbs tend to be negated by the independent word no or by the suffix na(e), the latter typically found after modal verbs and do.

Come doon alang some nicht, lass, an tak dy sock. Come (down) along some evening, girl, and bring your knitting. (S) Whars shoes is this? Mines. Whose shoes are these? Mine. Da tide farder nort, he streams on da west side (S) . Hes blowan ap (S) The wind is rising

The pronoun he for the masculine gender may also refer to natural phenomena (tide, wind) or tools. In the generic use he refers to weather. While lamp, fish, kirk, world and some time expressions are feminine: Reflexive pronouns are identical in form with the pronouns in the accusative case. The demonstrative pronoun yon (yun) is used to indicate remoteness. The demonstrative pronouns this/ dis and that / dat are used in the plural as well as the singular The relative pronoun is always at. A frequently used indefinite pronoun is twartree two or three several.

He wis restin him (S)

Word order Sees du yon, boy? Geng du my boy! The lexicon The most striking element of the vocabulary of these two dialects is the Scandinavian element, which is more alive in Shetland. Words related to the Scandinavian influence are close to every-day life on the Northern Isles and include semantic fields such as: Flora and fauna: arvi chickweed, scarf cormorant Traditional tools: tushkar spade, owskeri scoop Weather terminology: bonfrost very severe frost Colours: moorit light brown Emotive adjectives: dles indolent, inbigget stubborn Shetland dialect still displays Scandinavian inverted word order and lack of do-support, as well as overt-subject imperatives