University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Undergraduate Course: History of Scots (LASC10098)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the emergence, structure and status of Scots from its earliest beginnings to c.1900.
Course description The course will study the emergence, structure and status of Scots from its earliest beginnings to c.1900. For each major stage in the language's development, the course will: (i) survey the socio-historical context; (ii) identify the major structural changes; (iii) consider theories of linguistic change. Students will additionally learn to read and analyse selected Older and early Modern Scots texts and to interpret Scottish place-names and other commonly-used Scottish terms.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: LEL2C: English in Time and Space (LASC08019)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Linguistics/Language Sciences courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/ College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 27, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A mid-course assignment, chosen from a list provided by the lecturer, to assess knowledge of Older Scots lexis, spelling and grammar: 2,000 words, 50%; An end-of-course essay, chosen from a list provided by the lecturer, to assess engagement with the literature on the status of Older Scots: 2,000 words, 50%.
Feedback A practice assignment (1,000 words), set early in the course, with a model answer provided for self-assessment. This will be followed by a feedback session, which will feed forward to the assessed coursework;
Ongoing feedback to students during lectures and seminars;
Advice on assessed coursework throughout the course;
Detailed marker comments on assessed coursework;
A Q&A session in week 8 on essay topics;
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Comment on linguistic features of texts from Early, early Middle, late Middle and early Modern Scots
  2. Describe diachronic developments at all levels of language in the history of Scots
  3. Identify key figures and events in the history of the Scots language and explain their impact
  4. Summarise and critically evaluate arguments concerning the status of Older Scots
  5. Interpret Scottish place-names and other commonly-used Scottish terms
Reading List
Corbett, J., J.D. McClure & J. Stuart-Smith (eds.) 2003. The Edinburgh companion to Scots. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Devitt, A. 1989. Standardising written English: Diffusion in the case of Scotland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dossena, M. 2005. Scotticisms in grammar and vocabulary. Edinburgh: John Donald.
Görlach, M. 2002. A Textual History of Scots. Heidelberg: C. Winter.
Jones, C. (ed.) 1997. The Edinburgh history of the Scots language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Kay, B. 1988. Scots: The mither tongue. London: Grafton.
Macafee, C. & A.J. Aitken. 2002. A history of Scots to 1700. In W. Craigie et al. (eds.), A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, vol. XII. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Online at:]
McClure, J.D. 1988. Why Scots Matters. Edinburgh: Saltire Society.
Murison, D. 1979. The historical background. In A.J. Aitken & T. McArthur (eds.), Languages of Scotland, 2-13. Edinburgh: Chambers.
Robinson, C. & R. Ó Maolalaigh. 2007. The several tongues of a single kingdom: the languages of Scotland, 1314-1707. In T.O. Clancy & M. Pittock (eds.), The Edinburgh history of Scottish literature, vol. 1, 153-63. Edinburgh: EUP.
Smith, J. 2013. Oder Scots: A linguistic reader. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Rhona Alcorn
Tel: (0131 6)50 6660
Course secretaryMiss Emma Nelson
Tel: (0131 6)50 9870
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information