The north above the North: Scotland and Northern English

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Linguistic varieties in Northern England and Scotland have always been closely
related, as a result of their shared history and geographical proximity. Older Scots and Northern Middle English were divided from other Middle English dialects by a major dialect boundary, and this division survived into modern times, separating Scots and far Northern English dialects on the one hand from Southern and Midland English dialects on the other. Cutting across this dialect unity, the Scottish-English Border has further shaped the relationship between linguistic varieties on either side of it. This has caused dialects in Northern England and Scotland to look in different directions and, as traditional dialect boundaries have faded, the Scottish-English Border appears to have become increasingly important as a linguistic divide. Thus we cannot begin to understand the meaning of ‘Northern English’ without considering the relationship between linguistic varieties in Scotland and Northern England, and the extent to which the Scottish-English Border constitutes a linguistic boundary between them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearching Northern English
EditorsRaymond Hickey
Place of PublicationAmsterdam and Philadelphia
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789027267672
ISBN (Print)9789027249159
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Scotland and the North of England; development of Scots; relationship of Scots to English dialects; the Border and modern accents


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