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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: History of Scots (LASC11130)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting 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. As the course progresses, there will be opportunity for some small-group discussions and interactive analyses of Older Scots texts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students enrolled on the MSc in Medieval Literature and Cultures or any other non-Linguistics & English Language degree programme must check with the Course Organiser before enrolling.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 27, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 167 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. 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%

2. 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 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 the final week 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
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.

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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Benjamin Molineaux Ress
Tel: (0131 6)50 6977
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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