Scots language database takes the high road

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Scots language database takes the high road

Shoud auld acquentance be forgot, an niver brocht tae mynd?.

A searchable database of over four million modern Scottish words has gone online today.

The Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech was put up by Glasgow University with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The database contains a dictionary of Scottish words since 1945, proceedings from the Scottish Parliament, diaries, correspondence and audio recordings of texts.

Project researcher Dr Wendy Anderson said: "The Scots language is a source of interest across the world as it is one aspect of a long and flourishing cultural heritage.

"The website will be a useful language resource for academic researchers and students, language learners and teachers, dictionary writers and secondary school language teachers, not to mention general users who just want to satisfy a curiosity about the Scots language."

The Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech also includes audio files of Scots authors reading from their own works, including interviews with well-known figures including Ian Rankin and Suhayl Saadi.

The site has already had visitors from the US, Australia, China, Japan and South America.

In the longer term the team hopes to expand the database back to 1700. The UK government ratified Scots as an 'official minority language' in 2001.

Scots covers all variations from original Highland Gaelic, which is very akin to Irish Gaelic, to Lowland Gaelic, which is largely extinct. The modern Gaelic alphabet has 18 letters.
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