Scotland mourns the death of a dialect

2012-10-09 11:08

kalahari.com

Bobby Hogg, the last native speaker of a dialect originating from a remote fishing village in northern Scotland, has died - and so has the dialect he spoke, eTurboNews reports. 

After the 92-year-old's death the dialect known as Cromarty fisherfolk, has been consigned to a collection of brief, distorted audio clips.

According to Robert Millar, a reader in linguistics at the School of Language and Literature at Aberdeen University, it is the first unique dialect to be lost in Scotland.

He added that Cromarty fisherfolk appears to be the only descendant from the Germanic linguistic world in which no "wh" pronunciation existed.

"'What' would become 'at' and 'where' would just be 'ere'," he said.

Director of Scottish Language Dictionaries Chris Robinson has said: "The loss of Cromarty is symptomatic of a greater, general decline in the use of the Scots language, and should be a wake-up call to save other struggling dialects."

Millar agrees, arguing that the decline in Scots language represents a wider global trend.

There are some 6,000 to 7,000 languages in the world and it is estimated that they are disappearing at a rate of one every two weeks.

Some 96% of the world's population speak just 4% of the world's languages, Millar said. "Most languages are only spoken by a few hundred people," he added.

 
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