robert-millar

Last native speaker of Scots dialect dies


Map of the areas where the Scots language is spoken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Jamie Hamilton, for CNN

updated 7:30 PM EDT, Fri October 5, 2012

(CNN) — 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.

The death of the 92-year-old retired engineer means that the Scots dialect known as Cromarty fisherfolk is now consigned to a collection of brief, distorted audio clips.

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

"Usually minority dialects end up blending in with standard English to form a hybrid. However, this is a completely distinct dialect which has become extinct," he said.

Cromarty fisherfolk appears to be the only descendant from the Germanic linguistic world in which no “wh” pronunciation existed, Millar said.

“‘What’ would become ‘at’ and ‘where’ would just be ‘ere’,” he said.

It was also the Scots language’s only dialect that dropped the “H” aspiration.

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