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----- Original Message -----From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Nancy GishSent: Monday, July 12, 2010 6:17 AMSubject: Re: Dialects in the UK--was The Occult in Modernist WritingThere is no misplaced modifier or any other grammatical problem or dialectical marker in the sentence. It was simply separate from the message I was responding to; it was part of an exchange in which it was quite clear that I could not make the differentiation throughout England. I could, for example, recognize Yorkshire in contrast to Cockney or other obvious differences, but I could not differentiate many dialects as I can in Scotland.Perhaps it sounds more standard to you to say "I can only. . . ," but it is perfectly standard to say "I only can. . ." also.Like everyone, I have a dialect. It is midwestern American with so many layers of travel and writing that it is no longer specifically identifiable. On the other hand, I still use a positive "anymore," which is midwestern.Nancy>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>07/12/10 3:58 AM >>>
The sentence in question was unusually worded.Taken on the surface it could be read to mean that there isnothing else you can do other than make the differentiation in Scotland.Your existence, it would seem to be saying is limited entirely to that function.Obviously that is not the case, so I am wondering whether what might be called a misplaced modifiermight be the effect of some dialectical usage.P.----- Original Message -----From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Nancy GishSent: Saturday, July 10, 2010 5:52 AMSubject: Dialects in the UK--was The Occult in Modernist WritingThere are many dialects of Scots. They are not dialects of English. If you wish citations from linguists, see David Crystal, Derrick McClure, Tom MacArthur.There were, in the extant mss, four known dialects of Anglo-Saxon (then called "Inglis" for all four). The one in Scotland, Northumbrian, became Middle Scots and then modern Scots. (Northumbrian also was spoken in Northern England--"north of the Humber"--and there are still many overlaps between Scots and dialects in Northern England that are not in modern England's "Received Pronunciation," i.e. the dialect of BBC, the Queen, and the South--and the acquired dialect of Eliot). The Anglo-Saxon in the Midlands, Mercian, became the Middle English of England (i.e., where London and the court were) and then modern English. By the 15th century Scots and "English" (the Midlands dialect of "Inglis") had sufficiently diverged to be separate languages, though mainly mutually intelligible--except see the four volumes of Scots words not in English in Jamieson's.I reiterate all this because it is a constant false assumption that Scots is a dialect of English. It would make as much sense linguistically and historically to call English a dialect of Scots. That is, no sense either way. But the false assumption has had a long and negative impact on Scots writing. And yes, many Scots also assumed it, especially in the Eighteenth century, but it has no linguistic basis. Explaining it every time I give a paper is a scunner.What I said below meant that I recognize and can read dialects of Scots and would never mix up Glasgow with Fife or either with Northeast Doric, but that I have to study sources if I want to distinguish Dundee from Perth.Nancy
>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> 07/10/10 1:50 AM >>>
----- Original Message -----
From: Nancy Gish
I only can make that differentiation in Scotland, and not as exactly as I
could when I lived there.
An interesting way to put it. A reflection of a regional dialect, perhaps?