The Discursive Construction of the Scots Language
Education, politics and everyday life
Johann Wolfgang Unger | Lancaster University
This monograph is about how the Scots language is discursively constructed, both from ‘above’ (through texts such as educational policies, debates in parliament and official websites) and from ‘below’ (in focus group discussions among Scottish people). It uses the interdisciplinary discourse-historical approach to critical discourse analysis to examine what discursive strategies are used in different texts, and also to investigate salient features of context. This allows a broader discussion of the role of this language in Scotland, and how different ways of constructing a language can percolate through society, appearing in both important, elite texts and discussions among ordinary people. It thus contributes to the body of knowledge about contemporary Scots, but also expands the range of possible applications for critical discourse analysis approaches.
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, 51] 2013. xvi, 178 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements | p. vii
List of figures | p. xiii
List of tables | p. xiv
List of abbreviations | p. xv
Transcription conventions | p. xvi
1. Introduction | pp. 1–8
2. The Scots language in context | pp. 9–24
3. Studying language policy from a discursive perspective | pp. 25–70
4. ‘Top-down’ discourse on Scots at the start of the Twenty-first Century | pp. 71–108
5. Voices ‘from below’: Strategic ambivalence | pp. 109–140
6. The political present and future of the Scots language | pp. 141–148
7. Manufacturing and maintaining constructions of Scots | pp. 149–156
Appendix A. Moderator’s scripts | pp. 167–168
Appendix B. Prompt texts and translations | pp. 169–172
Name index | pp. 173–174
Subject index | pp. 175–178
“This excellent volume provides a model which scholars will do well to imitate in future studies. Detailed analysis provides a rich insight into the discursive construction of Scots, its tensions, contradictions, and ideological positioning. The discussion of political and personal discourses makes clear connections to policy and practice in relation to Scots.”
Adrian Blackledge, University of Birmingham
“Unger’s book is unique in proving a three-dimensional portrait of the use and treatment of Scots alongside attitudes to the language. The extent to which political change alters perceptions of language varieties lies at the centre of the book; this can be extrapolated to similar contexts in other parts of the world.”
Robert McColl Millar, University of Aberdeen
“Johann Unger makes a fresh and fascinating contribution to the study of Scots. Uncovering the 'real violence' to which many Scots speaking children were subjected and examining this in theoretical terms is significant in itself: this is a grossly under-researched area and he is to be commended for opening up discussion about it. In a compelling and accessible narrative which encompasses the political and social changes taking place in Scotland today, Johann Unger juxtaposes the experiences and views of Scots speakers with the fast moving world of top level policy development. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Scots language.”
Michael Hance, Scots Language Centre
“Unger’s monograph is much more than a fascinating analysis of the Scots language; it also provides an exemplary research model that scholars will do well to emulate in their future work. The discourse-historical approach proves itself to be an effective tool for analyzing a complex social phenomenon, and by conducting CDA in the relevant historical contexts, new and deeper insights are made possible. Unger’s careful selection of sample texts and his thoughtful design of focus groups can be highly recommended as a model for learning and teaching this discourse analysis methodology. All in all, this monograph is both an exceptional study of Scottish culture from a linguistic perspective and a valuable resource for students and scholars of CDA.”
Guofeng Wang, Zhejiang University, Discourse Studies Vol. 17:6 (2015)
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 13 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Main BIC Subject
CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General