www.scots-online.org — Wir Ain Leed - North East Central Scots
 Veesit oor Facebook page.  
 
Site Map
North East Central Scots

Consonants

Consonants usually have the same phonetic values (pronunciation) in Scots, as in Standard English. For more detail see Orthography.

The grapheme <l> may be pronounced /j/ in words such as blue [bju:], laik [jek] and plou [pju:].

In Perthshire <tw> may be realised /kw/ in words like atween, twa, twal, twinty and twist.

Medial and final <ch> is usually /x/ in words such as bocht, loch and nicht.

Initial <ch> is usually /ʧ/ in words such as chap, chield, chirl and chowk.

The cluster <nch> is usually /nʃ/ is words such as brainch, clinch, dunch, hainch, inch and French.

The cluster <tch> is usually /ʧ/ in words such as fleetch and wratch.

The trigraph <dge> is usually /ʤ/ in words such as begrudge, cadge, cruldge and fadge.

The grapheme <g> is occasionally /ʤ/ in words such as breinge and gigot.

Final and medial <ld> between vowels is usually simplified to /l/, otherwise /ld/, in words such as auld, bield, cauld, elder and fauld.

Final and medial <nd> between vowels is usually simplified to /n/, otherwise /nd/, in words such as daunder, find, haund, saund and sindry.

The digraph <ng> is usually /ŋ/ in words such as finger, hing, ingan and single.

The digraph <nk> is usually /ŋk/ bink and hank

The digraph <qu> is usually initial /kw/ in words such as acquent, quair and queen.

The digraph <sh> is usually /ʃ/ in words such as creash and sheep. It may occasionally be /ʒ/ in words such as fushion and pushion.

The digraph <th> is usually /θ/ in words such as graith, thole and thrawn, /ð/ in words such as blether, thaim and thair.

The digraph <wh> is usually /ʍ/ in words such as wha, whan, wheech and wheel.

Vowels and Diphthongs

Vowels in unstressed positions are usually /ə/ in words such as aboot, the, oxter, duntit, bannock and smeddum.

Initial <a> is /ə/ in words such as ahint and awa etc.

The grapheme <a> is usually /a/, however, it may be /ɑ/, especially before <n(d)>, in words such as aff, lang, mak, wash and watch.

Final <a> is usually /ɔ:/, but /ɑ:/ may also occur, in words such as awa, wha and twa.

Initial and medial <au> is usually /ɔ:/, but /ɑ:/ may also occur, in words such as auld, haud, haund, slauchter, saul and saund.

Final <aw> is usually /ɔ:/, but /ɑ:/ may also occur, in words such as aw, blaw, caw, draw, faw, gaw, gnaw, haw, slaw, snaw and staw. That occasionally occurs initially and medially in a few words such as awn, awfu, bawbee and bawsant.

Initial and medial <ai> is usually /e/ in words such as aiblins, aik, aiple, ait, aith, braid, craitur, fain, gaither, graith, haimer and laim.

The cluster <a-e> is usually /e/ in words such as ale, ane, ance, face, gate, hame and Pace.

Final <ae> is usually /e/ in words such as ae, brae, f(r)ae, gae, sae, tae n. and wae. However, it may also be /ø/ in western parts of Fife and /y/ towards Perthshire, in words such as adae, dae, shae and tae v.

Final <ay> is usually /e/ in words such as day, gray and lay.

The digraph <ea> is usually /e/ in words such as beast, cheap, deave, east, heap, hear, meat, ream, sea and tea.

The digraph <ee> is usually /i/ in words such as dee, dree, eetem, freet, jeely, keep, meet, teeth, weel and weet.

The digraph <ei> is usually /e/ in words such as beir, deid, eild, heid, meidae, peir, spreid, teir and threid. However, <ei> before /x/ is usually /i/ in words such as dreich, heich and skeich.

Medial <ie> is usually /i/ in words such as bield, chield, scrieve and shielin.

The grapheme <e> is usually /ɛ/ in words such as bed, ebb, esh, gled, gless, fecht, seck and wecht.

The grapheme <i> is usually /ɪ/, towards the Highland line and before /l/, /kl/and /tl/, /ʌ/ may occur, in words such as drink, in, inch, licht, lift, pit, rin, simmer, sin and stibble. An <i> after <w> and <wh> is often /ʌ/ in words such as wid, whin, whisper, whit, wind, wir, wird, wirm and wittins.

The graphemes <o> and <oa> are usually /o/ in words such as boat, boss, box, coal, cod, common, dochter, hoast, on, rock and thocht.

The digraph <oo> is usually /u/ in words such as aboot, coont, droop, hoose, moose, oot, scoor and soond.

The digraph <ou> is usually /u/ in words like allou, bouk, broun, cour, coum, doun, dout, poupit and thoum.

The cluster <u-e> is usually /u/ in words such as dule and hure.

The grapheme <u> is usually /ʌ/ in words such as bund, burn, drunken, fund, grund, truff, unce and wund.

The digraph <ui>, in initial short environments, is usually /jɪ/ in words such as uiss and medially it is /ɪ/ in words such as abuin, bluid, bruit, cuil, cuit, duin, fruit, guid, luif, luim, muin, schuil, spuin and Yuil.
In initial short long positions, <ui>, is usually /je:/ in words such as uise (and abuise), and medially it is usually /e:/ in words such as buird, fluir, fuird, muir, muisic, ruise and shuir. However, in western parts of Fife older speakers still may have /ø/ and towards Perthshire it may be /y/

The digraph <eu> is usually /(j)ʌ/ in words such as beuch, beuk, eneuch, heuk, leuch, leuk, neuk, sheuch, teuch and teug.

The digraph <ew> is usually /ju/ in dew, few, new and spew.

The clusters <i-e> and <y-e> are usually /əi/, however, in long positions /aɪ/ may occur, in words such as advice, bide, byle, fine, fire, ile, rive, tyne, wice and wyte.

The digraphs <ey> and <ye> are usually /əi/, however, in long positions /aɪ/ may occur, in words such as cry, eyntment, eyster, fley and kye.

The dipraphs <oi> and <oy> are usually /oi/ in words such as Boid,foy, noise and ploy.

Initial and medial <ow> is usually /ʌu/ in words such as bowt, cowp, cowt, gowd, gowf, lowp and owsen. Root final that is <owe> in words such as flowe, glowe, growe, howe, knowe, lowe, rowe and towe.

Suffixes

Strictly speaking not a suffix, <ae> is usually /e/, to the west /i/ also occurs, in words such as Americae, arrae, barrae, nairae, swallae and windae.

Diminutive <ie> is usually /e/, in East Perthshire, if the preceding vowel is /i/ or /əi/, or the preceding consonant is /b, d, ð, g, v, ʒ/ or /z/, it is /i/, otherwise /ɪ/, in words such as laddie, lassie, grannie,shappie and wifie.

Adjectival <fu> is usually /fe/ in words such as awfu, carefu and mensefu.

The negative particle <na> is usually /ne/ in words such as daena (dinna), haesna, maunna, winna and wisna.

Adverbial and adjectival <y> and <ie> are usually /e/, in East Perthshire, if the preceding vowel is /i/ or /əi/, or the preceding consonant is /b, d, ð, g, v, ʒ/ or /z/, it is /i/, otherwise /ɪ/, in words such as reekie, sairy, stany and stourie.

Adverbial <ly> is usually /le/, in East Perthshire, if the preceding vowel is /i/ or /əi/, or the preceding consonant is /b, d, ð, g, v, ʒ/ or /z/, it is /li/, otherwise /lɪ/, in words such as brawly, feckly, fully, geyly, likely and uncoly.

Literature:

Wilson, James (1916) Lowland Scotch as Spoken in the Lower Strathearn District of Perthshire, Oxford University Press.
Wilson, James (1926) The Dialects of Central Scotland, London: Oxford University Press.
Mather, James Y. and H. H. Speitel (1986) The Linguistic Atlas of Scotland volume 3, London: Croom Helm.
Johnston, Paul (1997) "Regional variation" in Charles Jones ed. The Edinburgh History of the Scots Language, Edinburgh University Press, 443-513.

© 1996 - 2015