Scots Language Publishing: Indigenous Language Publishing

By Tim Conner.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Scots language shares its common ancestry with English. Over many centuries it has developed separately from English alongside Gaelic and various dialectics. By the 15th century, Scots was the language of the State, courts and parliament and was the language spoken by everyone in Scotland who did not speak Gaelic. During the 16th and 17th centuries various factors contributed to Scots being considered an inferior language. In recent times this attitude has been perpetuated by the education system and the broadcast media. Recent events, including the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, have promoted a resurgence of interest and popularity in the language. Throughout the decline of Scots the oral traditional kept the language alive although there are limited examples of Scots ever being recorded in a written form, with a few notable examples such as Robert Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid and James Kelman. In spite of these difficulties Scots continues to adapt and flourish both as a spoke and written language in the 21st century. Scots was recently recognised by the European Union under the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights.

This recent interest in the language has been reflected in an increase in the number of titles being published in Scots. This paper will examine some of this recent activity in the publishing sector; with particular focus on a new publisher in this niche market, Itchy Coo, whose main funding came from the state via The Scottish Arts Council. The aim of this paper is to examine the conception of this new publisher and its relationship with a state funding body. Other purely commercial publishing activities in Scots language will also be discussed.

Keywords: Scots Language Publishing, Minority Language Publishing, Scots Language, Minority Languages

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.199-206. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 802.983KB).

Tim Conner

Lecturer, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK

Tim Conner is a Lecturer in the Communication and Publishing department within the Aberdeen Business School at the Robert Gordon University. He lectures on Electronic Publishing. Digital Media and Production (print and digital) at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He previously worked as a Production Manager in print, publishing and electronic publishing.


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