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South West Central Scots

Consonants

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

The graphemes /g/ and /k/ are often /gj/ and /kj/ before /a, ɛ, e, ɪ, i, y/ in words such as girn, get, caird, ken and kirk.

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/ in words such as brainch, clinch, dunch, hainch, inch and French.

The trigraph <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 graphemes <g> and <ge> are occasionally /ʤ/ in words such as breinge and gigot.

Final <ld> is simplified to /l/ when a consonant begins the next word, in words such as auld, bield, cauld and fauld, otherwise that is /ld/ in words such as elder.

The cluster <nd> is usually simplified to /n/ in words such as baund, daunder, find, haund and sindry.

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

The digraph <nk> is usually /ŋk/ in words such as bink and hank.

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

The digraph <sh> is usually /ʃ/ in words such as creash and sheep. Occasionally that is /ʒ/ in words such as fushion and pushion.

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

The grapheme <a> is usually /a/ or /ɑ/ in words such as aff, mak, lang, wash and watch.

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

Final <a> is usually /ɑ/ in words such as awa, twa and wha.

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

Final <aw> is usually /a/, /ɑ:/ or /ɔ:/, in words such as aw, blaw, caw, draw, faw, gaw, gnaw, haw, slaw, snaw and staw. That occasionally occurs word initial or medial in, for example, awn, awfu, bawbee and bawsant.

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

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

Final <ae> is usually /e/ in words such as brae, f(r)ae, gae, sae, tae n. and wae. However, <ae> may be /je/ in ae and /y:/ in words such as adae, dae, shae and tae v. In many areas those have been replaced by the characteristic Central Scots pronunciations.

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

The digraph <ea> is usually /i/ or /e/, especially in Wigtownshire, 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 /i/ or /e/, especially in Wigtownshire, in words such as beir, deid, heid, meidae, peir, spreid, teir and threid. Before /x/, <ei>, is /i/ in words such as dreich, heich and skeich.

The digraph <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, fecht, gled, gless, seck and wecht.

The grapheme <i> is usually /ɪ/ in words such as drink, in, inch, lift, licht, pit, rin, simmer, sin, stibble, whin, whisper, whit, wid, wind, wir, wird, wirm and wittins.

The grapheme <o> is usually /ɔ/ in boss, box, cod, common, dochter, loch, on, rock and thocht.

The digraph <oa> is usually /o/ in words such as boat, coal and hoast.

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

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

The cluster <u-e> is usually /y/ or /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> is usually /y/ in words such as abuin, abuise, bluid, bruit, buird, cuil, cuit, duin, fluir, fruit, fuird, guid, luif, luim, muin, muir, muisic, ruise, schuil, shuir, spuin, uise, uiss and Yuil. In many areas those have been replaced by the characteristic Central Scots pronunciations.

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

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

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

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

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

Initial and medial <ow> is usually /ʌu/, but before before /k/ it may be /o:/, in words such as bowk, bowt, cowp, cowt, gowd, gowf, gowpen, howk, lowp, 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/ in words such as Americae, airae, barrae, nairae, swallae and windae.

Diminutive <ie> is usually /e/ in words such as grannie, laddie, lassie, shappie and wifie.

Adjectival <fu> is usually /fɑ/ 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 words such as reekie, sairy, stany and stourie.

Adverbial <ly> is usually /le/ in words such as brawly, feckly, fully, geyly, likely and uncoly.

In phrases begining with in the, on the, at the and o the, the two words are contracted into 'ee e' [i e] or simply 'ee' [i].

Ee e toun.
In the Town.
Ee e mornin.
In the morning.
Wrang ee heid.
Wrong in the head.
Ee back ee dyke.
At the back of the stone wall.

Literature:

Milroy, James (1982) "Some connections between Galloway and Ulster speech", Scottish Language 1, 23-29.
Riach, W. A. D. (1979,1980,1982) "A dialect study of comparative areas in Galloway", Scottish Literary Journal Supplement 9, 1-16; Supplement 12, 43-60; Scottish Language 1, 13-22.
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.

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