The Languages and Cultures of Contemporary Scotland

Teaching: lectures – 30, seminars – 30
ECTS credits: 4

scotlandThe aim of the course is to familiarise students with the lingustic and cultural diversity characteristic of contemporary Scotland, presented against the background of Scotland’s rich cultural, historical and linguistic heritage. While the approach is predominantly synchronic, present-day developments are placed in an appropriate historical and socio-cultural perspective.

Our main focus is on issues relating to the languages spoken in Scotland today. We will be particularly interested in the similarities and differences between Scottish Standard English and Modern Scots, as manifested in contemporary speech ranging from standard to colloquial language use. Accent variation constitutes another major topic of discussion. Throughout the course, we will listen to and watch a variety of audio and video materials, and analyze recordings both in class and as assignments contributing to continuous assessment. Click on the link below to listen to audio samples of modern urban Scots:

We will also be looking at  the written languages of  Scotland as evidenced by modern fiction and verse, the press, some popular web sites, etc. The course will further introduce students to some literary uses of both “broader” forms of Scots and Scottish Standard English in (primarily contemporary) poetry and fiction.

The final grade is based on: (i) continuous assessment (participation in class and online discussions, a portfolio) – 25%;  (ii) a mid-term test – 25%;  (iii) a term project on a course-related topic (a written paper and an oral presentation) – 50%.

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