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Book Information

Title: Perspectives on the Older Scottish Tongue
Edited By: Christian J. Kay
Margaret A. Mackay

'This fine collection of essays celebrating the completion of the
Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue is testimony to the value of the
historical dictionary as a cultural, as well as a lexical, document. The
essays are wide-ranging: some concentrate on the data in DOST (on wines,
cereal crops and products, legal language, literary vocabulary, etc.);
others use the definitions in DOST as a jumping-off point for further
analysis (of the function of a 'gossip', timber construction, weights and
measures); and still others connect DOST with related dictionaries and
linguistic atlases. These essays are essential reading for anyone
interested in the language and culture of early Scotland.' - Robert E.
Lewis, Editor-in-Chief, Middle English Dictionary

This book celebrates the rich diversity of the Scots language and the
culture it embodies. It marks two important events in Scots language
scholarship: the completion of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue
(DOST) in 2001 and the publication of its final volumes in 2002. The
thirteen chapters which comprise the volume cover many aspects of Scottish
life as illuminated by the words used to describe them. The writers,
experts in their own fields, are linked by the fact that they have all made
use of the wealth of information in DOST to advance their research. Their
topics include the use of DOST in reading literature, in tracing the
consumption of cereals and wine in early Scotland, in elucidating place
names and terms used in shipping, building and measurement, and in defining
such complex concepts as homicide and the role of the 'gossip'. Nor is the
history and structure of the dictionary itself forgotten. There is a study
of its development from its beginnings in the 1920s, together with
biographical notes on its editors over the years. There are also chapters
drawing comparisons with the Middle English Dictionary, the Linguistic
Atlas of Older Scots and the proposed historical dictionary of Scottish

The book will thus appeal to those interested in the history of Scots and
Scotland, and to those with a more general interest in the history of
languages and development of dictionaries.

Preface (Alasdair MacDonald)
1. DOST and the Literary Scholar (Priscilla Bawcutt)
2. The History and Development of DOST (Marace Dareau)
3. 'There is Nothing like a Good Gossip': Baptism, Kinship and Alliance in
Early Modern Scotland (Jane Dawson)
4. 'Wyne Confortative': Wine in Scotland from the Thirteenth to the
Eighteenth Centuries (Alexander Fenton)
5. Law and Lexicography: The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and
Late Medieval and Early Modern Scottish Shipping Law (A.D.M. Forte)
6. Cereal Terms in the DOST Record (Iseabail Macleod)
7. The Spread of a Word: Scail in Scots, and Sgaoil in Gaelic (Donald Meek)
8. Place Names as Evidence in the History of Scots (Bill Nicolaisen)
9. DOST and MED and the Virtues of Sibling Rivalry (Paul Schaffner)
10. Was It Murder? John Comyn of Badenoch and William, Earl of Douglas
(W.H.D. Sellar)
11. Interpreting Scots Measurement Terms: A Cautionary Tale (A.D.C. Simpson)
12. The Use of the Scottish National Dictionaries in the Study of
Traditional Building Construction (Bruce Walker)
13. DOST and LAOS - A Caledonian Symbiosis? (Keith Williamson)
Overview (William Gillies)


Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography
Subject Language(s): Scots
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0748622810
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 240
Prices: U.K. £ 25.00