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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Completed in 2007, the Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech (SCOTS, 1945–present) is the main corpus resource for linguistic analysis of present-day Scots and Scottish English. In 2010, the Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing (CMSW, 1700–1945) was introduced as a companion corpus to the SCOTS. Although CMSW is a corpus of written language only, it contains a sizeable component of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century orthoepist works, by writers such as James Beattie, James Elphinston, Alexander Barrie, and Sir John Sinclair. These works provide a rich, complex mine of evidence of changing pronunciation, and offer a glimpse into contemporary attitudes to language which emerge from a blend of prescription, proscription, and description. SCOTS and CMSW provide a diverse range of evidence, and together the two corpora offer a new perspective on sound-change, in the broader context of language variation and change, over 300 years of Scots and Scottish English.

Keywords: Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, analysis, Scots, English, Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, written language, pronunciation, corpora, sound-change, variation, linguistics, evidence

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