Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
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10-09-2016, 09:08 AM
Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
I really have to post this here because it just blows me away every time I look at it.

http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/p..._tales.htm

This is a collection of folk tales in a sort of reconstructed Scots English. I took an interest in Scots when I moved there. I lived in Glasgow for about 8 years and there were some very puzzling aspects to the way people spoke that I just had to look into.

When I was downtown and heard people speak at a distance, they sounded Norwegian. My mother-in-law said that as a Gaelic speaker she found it very easy to learn German. A friend told me that Highland Scots can get by in Germany by speaking the way they do in the Highlands. ? Huh? A lot of Scots words are the same as German, like Kirk for church and a lot of place names have Germanic sounds to them like Auchinlech.

It seems that Scots or more precisely "old Scots" is virtually the same as Old English which is, of course, a Germanic language. I also met a woman from Ireland who sounded German.

So, I found these folk tales and started reading them and couldn't get the rhythm or meaning at all, not even when I tried to speak in what I think of as a Scottish accent.

The thing is, much of early American settlement was by Scots/Irish and Appalachian English is closest to the way these people would have spoken

Then, I started pronouncing the words more slowly, as though I was Forest Gump or some Ozark hillbilly. The more I accentuated my Apalachian accent, the clearer the meaning of the tales became until I was drawlin' away all day reading the damn things.

I read what was said on the site about this not being, necessarily authentic, so I picked up a copy of Blind Harry's "The Wallace" which is entirely in Scots and did the same thing and got the same result.

It's like the Scots of old were speaking American!!! I just could not believe it. Maybe it's just me but it blows me away.
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11-09-2016, 04:27 AM
RE: Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
My husband is Scottish and when we were living in Germany he gave a list of mountain names to his German teacher to read out. All the names were in Gaelic. Apparently she pronounced them very well.

I'm half German myself and and have spent many years living in Scotland. I've returned to Scotland after living in Germany for three years. I've been working hard developing my German accent. It's not just the obvious musicality that makes an accent, e.g. how it raises and lowers in pitch etc, but how the different phenomes are voiced in the mouth.

I've since been comparing the Scottish and German accents and trying to pin down how exactly they are different. For example, Germans will pronounce an R with the tongue laying at the bottom of the mouth, and while the Scots can roll their R's I think they voice their R's with the tongues more like the rest of the Brits with the tongue resting naturally.
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11-09-2016, 06:18 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2016 10:47 AM by Deesse23.)
RE: Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
It depends on the area/dialect of Germany.
In bavaria the "rolling R" is very common. In Cologne (rhineland) it has almost morphed into a "G", they seem to try to avoid the rolling completely.

I have to admit, when i first heared scottish people talking in a distinct scottish accent, it reminded me of German, at least way more than (uk) english.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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11-09-2016, 10:28 AM
RE: Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
Appalachian music shares similarities with Gaelic and Highland folk music. Certain melodic phrasings are the same and even lyric expressions are often very similar.

English is a Germanic language - it's all quite a mix. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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11-09-2016, 10:43 AM
RE: Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
From the little I know, American English has changed a lot less than the English spoken in England over the last few centuries.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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11-09-2016, 11:05 AM
RE: Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
Language is always fascinating!

Have you heard Doric Scots? English but not quite as we know it, Jim. Listen to the rhythm and tonal values. Compare with modern Germanic languages.





There are more like this.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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12-09-2016, 02:13 AM
RE: Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
(11-09-2016 06:18 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  It depends on the area/dialect of Germany.
In bavaria the "rolling R" is very common. In Cologne (rhineland) it has almost morphed into a "G", they seem to try to avoid the rolling completely.

That's interesting. I have to admit that I've only lived in Bavaria and Lower Saxony. More so in Bavaria and my father is from there too. I think the only time I've stepped foot in Cologne was to drop a hire car off and fly back to the UK when we moved back to Scotland.

It's interesting just how different the dialects are in German speaking counties. I can't easily recognise which is which yet though.
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12-09-2016, 02:20 AM
RE: Old Scottish, Old English and Appalachian English
(11-09-2016 10:43 AM)tomilay Wrote:  From the little I know, American English has changed a lot less than the English spoken in England over the last few centuries.

The Scots and Irish and northern English who settled America may have been less influenced by the French spoken by Norman invaders.

There's also something called the Great Vowel Shift. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowe..._and_Scots

This changed the way people pronounced vowels but had less influence in Scotland so Scottish pronunciation is closer to older English pronunciation. So, yes, American English pronunciation probably reflects an older version of English. Of course, today, a lot of English people are almost unintelligible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQAuIZ3_W1s
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