Shetlandic

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Ciarán12
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Shetlandic

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-07-26, 18:55

I wanted to share a few links about this language, which is of immense interest to me. Shetlandic is a variant of (Insular) Scots which is spoken on the Shetland Islands. It has been influenced by Norn, a now extinct Nordic language once spoken on the islands which is said to have been most closely related to Faroese. This variant of Scots certainly lends credence to the argument that Scots (or at least the Shetlandic variant) is a different language to English.

Here you can hear some traditional Shetlandic music, and a story in the Shetlandic language. See how much of it you can understand!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v-Mg2dyLbY

Here is a link to a short Shetlandic-English dictionary.
http://sh.shetlanddictionary.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

Miscellaneous

Shetlopedia
http://shetlopedia.com/Modern_Shetlandic_Scots

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby language learner » 2012-07-27, 7:45

Sorry, but I cant help thinking of sh!t when I hear shet... :roll: When I read the title I thought this thread was a joke.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Plaas » 2012-07-27, 8:30

As far as I know, Shetlandic is part of the greater English continuum. It is surprisingly English, compared to other West-Germanic languages: the plural suffix is -s, auxiliarys are [i[cood[/i] (could}, micht (might), wid (would), sood (should), there is only one definite article (da), the verb conjugation is practically the same (but "thou art" -> du is)... An interesting feature is ta be being the auxiliary instead of have: I'm written - I have written. But does that make it another language? I know the difference between language and dialect is not clear, but if one declares this a seperate language, the West Country Dialects or even Australian English would be seperate languages too, as would most Dutch dialects.
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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-07-27, 15:50

Plaas wrote:As far as I know, Shetlandic is part of the greater English continuum. It is surprisingly English, compared to other West-Germanic languages: the plural suffix is -s, auxiliarys are [i[cood[/i] (could}, micht (might), wid (would), sood (should), there is only one definite article (da), the verb conjugation is practically the same (but "thou art" -> du is)... An interesting feature is ta be being the auxiliary instead of have: I'm written - I have written. But does that make it another language? I know the difference between language and dialect is not clear, but if one declares this a seperate language, the West Country Dialects or even Australian English would be seperate languages too, as would most Dutch dialects.


Well, as you mentioned, the divide between 'language' and 'dialect' is a hard one to define. The debate is currently over whether or not Lowland Scots is it's own language. Shetlandic is a dialect of Scots, and to me it makes an even better case for being a language than do other Scots dialects (Doric etc..). If we were to take mutual intelligibility as the main factor (something which, actually, many different 'languages' have, such as Swedish an Norwegian), then this 'dialect' certainly isn't fully intelligible to me. I'd say, when listening to it, it's about 60% mutually intelligible. That number would presumably go up if a speaker of Standard Scottish English was listening, but may well go down if someone else was listening. I think the real test would be to get English speakers who don't know any other Germanic languages and who know nothing about linguistics (and who are from nowhere near Shetland) to listen to it and see if they can understand.

Personally, I think people in the English speaking world aren't quite willing enough to call different speech varieties 'languages'. Look at the Nordic languages, they are all quite similar, but they are considered different languages. Now, here's where I may be getting myself into some trouble because I don't know the languages involved well, but how different are the Frisian Languages? How different are they from standard Dutch? Now consider how different Shetlandic is from Standard English. And as for other dialects of English being considered languages, you could well be right. The reason I like Shetlandic as a candidate for languagedom is that it is a variety of Scots, a type of speech that had been separate from mainstream English developments since Middle English (but which in recent years has become more anglicised), and that it then has a Norse substrate (Norn).

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Imyirtseshem » 2012-07-28, 2:40

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Last edited by Imyirtseshem on 2012-09-25, 3:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby nailgun » 2012-08-12, 9:34

A little undignified, but an interesting point - which leads me to speculate as to whether there is actually any clear divide between the traditional language families (e.g. Indo-European, Fenno-Ugrian etc.)

I must confess when I saw this thread I thought "Shetlandic" actually referred to Shetland Norn.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Set » 2012-08-12, 9:53

Eugh here we go again Ciaran. You're proving just how political the language/dialect debate is. Well done.
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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-12, 10:10

nailgun wrote:A little undignified, but an interesting point - which leads me to speculate as to whether there is actually any clear divide between the traditional language families (e.g. Indo-European, Fenno-Ugrian etc.)


Well, I suppose they were all once one language at the start. The whole "we're all from Africa" thing. Still, I don't know if we should ignore differences THAT large...

Set wrote:Eugh here we go again Ciaran. You're proving just how political the language/dialect debate is. Well done.


*sigh* What? How could I have possibly offended you this time? I just wanted to make a thread about a variety of speech (that some people call a dialect of English but some call a separate but closely related language) that I thought was interesting. If you're going to criticise me, at least make a solid enough argument for me to refute.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Set » 2012-08-12, 10:46

What makes you think I was offended? Or are you trolling?

Anyway, this isn't a thread about Shetlandic, a thread about Shetlandic would talk about Shetlandic itself - what you're doing is trying to fit Shetlandic into your own Anglophobe/Pan-Celtic peoples agenda. Although I wouldn't go with the Shetlands, they're pretty intent on staying part of the UK.

And yes this is what you're doing. The only reason you'd push for a dialect to be a language is because you have separatist interests (which are your own, not the interests of the Shetlandic people btw). Just as someone might try and push for a language to be seen as a dialect so that they can justify not allowing independence, e.g. the Kurds in Turkey and Iran. However, these two situations really have nothing in common.

I'm not telling you to stop using languages to impose your own politics, but I will call you on it each time.
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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-12, 11:36

Set wrote:What makes you think I was offended? Or are you trolling?

Anyway, this isn't a thread about Shetlandic, a thread about Shetlandic would talk about Shetlandic itself - what you're doing is trying to fit Shetlandic into your own Anglophobe/Pan-Celtic peoples agenda. Although I wouldn't go with the Shetlands, they're pretty intent on staying part of the UK.

And yes this is what you're doing. The only reason you'd push for a dialect to be a language is because you have separatist interests (which are your own, not the interests of the Shetlandic people btw). Just as someone might try and push for a language to be seen as a dialect so that they can justify not allowing independence, e.g. the Kurds in Turkey and Iran. However, these two situations really have nothing in common.

I'm not telling you to stop using languages to impose your own politics, but I will call you on it each time.


Jesus man, give it a rest would you. Why are you so intent on thinking everything I say is about politics? I don't care if they want to stay par of the UK. As for 'Pan-Celtic Peoples', they're not Celtic, their Germanic, like England and North-Western/Southern Scotland (which is possibly why they want to remain part of the UK(?) ). Anyway, the reason I haven't been talking more about the language itself is because it is A) hard to find information about, and B) I haven't had the time, but I want to come back to it. I just thought there should be a thread here about it, and I wanted to know who else here might have an interest or, better yet, actually know something about t.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby nailgun » 2012-08-14, 22:58

I'm on one or two political fora where I enjoy talking politics. But I also enjoy talking language and am not particularly enamoured at finding it submerged in politics.

For what it's worth (approx. €2.38), I feel that the role of language in defining national identity is quite overplayed. This means that, if I accept that two languages are merely varieties of each other, it does not mean I feel speakers of both should be in the same country. Likewise, if I accept that a dialect is sufficiently different from its base language as to be classed as a separate language, it does not mean I feel speakers of it should be in a different country to the rest.

Now, maybe we can get back to discussing the main features of the current speech of Shetland etc., without descending into a diatribe of recrimination related to political borders.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-15, 9:54

nailgun wrote:Now, maybe we can get back to discussing the main features of the current speech of Shetland etc., without descending into a diatribe of recrimination related to political borders.

I'm more than happy to do just that :)

I also have this, which is a zip. file containing the archive of a website on Sheltlandic. It's quite good, and you can actually learn some of it it from the site.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Daionii » 2012-08-27, 7:05

>See thread on Shetlandic
>Expect to see Norn, but okay I love Scots too
>See arguments
>Run the hell away

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-08-27, 16:20

Daionii wrote:>See thread on Shetlandic
>Expect to see Norn, but okay I love Scots too
>See arguments
>Run the hell away


Unfortunate.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Lauren » 2013-02-05, 10:40

Ciaran! Are you still interested in Shetlandic? Just today I chanced upon someone that lives in Shetland, and I'm going to try to convince him to get me in contact with a native speaker. :D

I've always been more interested in Doric Scots, but why not learn both?
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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Ciarán12 » 2013-02-05, 16:50

That's cool. I'm interested, but probably not enough to dive into it right now, but if you make any headway with it would post some stuff here? I'd definitely read about it and follow a thread on it. You never know, I might get sucked in by the wonderlust.

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Re: Shetlandic

Postby Garethw87 » 2013-06-06, 1:27

Shetland is an interesting place, obviously all the Viking history mixed helps that out!

As for all this language/dialect stuff - I hate it and linguists who live and die by trying to prove pointless points.

Shetlanders speak Shetlandic (well about half of them do) therefore it must be their language? That's how I see it. A dialect is surely something like, I'm from Manchester and he is from Liverpool. We both use English but with our own regional slang thrown in the mix.

All languages supposedly came from one language or another so maybe we all speak dialects?

Some other random stuff. They actually don't want to stay as part of the UK as much as people think. Now Scotland are going to become independent, Shetland, Orkney the Western Isles are also considering pushing for self rule.

Shetland shouldn't actually be considered part of the UK anyway. It wasn't officially given to Scotland and it should have been returned to Norway years and years ago

It's surprisingly cheap to get to!
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