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Title: An edition of early Scots texts from the beginnings to 1410
Author: Slater, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3416 9734
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1952
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Over the past few years, a very lively interest in the history of the Scots language has developed. This has been, of necessity, concentrated largely on present day dialect problems : for various reasons, it is important that the modern Scots dialects should be recorded before it is too late. It has also, however, become apparent that a study of the vernacular of earlier times is, while less urgent, no less important. The written records of past centuries will, in all probability, endure for a. few more years; the spoken word must be recorded now. But since all scientific dialect study must be based on a knowledge of the language of the pa,st, it is essential. that some thought should be given to the earlier periods. It was very soon realised that, before a history of the. Scots language could be attempted, a collection of the early material would have to be made. Many Scots texts ere, of course, scattered throughout works such as Family Histories but they are often not easily accessible and have, in any case, been printed, primarily, for the student of history : the exactness of the spelling of individual words has been of little importance. In most cases, moreover, abbreviations have been expanded, and no mention has been made of this. The people for whom these texts were prepared were interested in their content. It is obvious, however, that the scholar who is concerned with the language will demand different standards. It is true that dissertations have, from time to time, been written on Early Scots in the past, and these have apparently been done without any readily accessible body of material on which to work. Reeves-'-, however, is the only scholar who prints any very great body of material and, as far as the early documents are concerned, his text is not always reliable. Exact texts are obviously of the greatest importance. In this edition, I have set out, firstly, to provide all the known material, except that in the Acts of Parliament, from the Scone Gloss to 1410, in one volume; and to provide it for the scholar who is interested in the language (although, of course, this does not detract from its limited value to the historian who would wish also to consult Latin documents). To this end, I have tried to produce reliable texts. I have not included material from the Acts of Parliament, chiefly "because the Acts are a study in themselves and also because the dates of the manuscripts place their material beyond 1410. I have also excluded Early Scots words which occur in Latin documents from a date long before 137S (the date of the first consecutive text), since this is also a special study. The Scone Gloss has been included because it is the earliest known attempt to write continuous Scots prose. The decision to limit myself to the period between the Scone Gloss and 1410 is quite arbitrary but can, I think, be justified on two grounds. Firstly, this period of time has yielded a sufficiently large body of material; secondly, documents written in the vernacular become much more prolific around this date, so that to have stretched the time limit even to 1420 would have meant including a great many more texts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of the Scots language