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INTRODUCTION



§ 5. A glance at the consonantal distinctions will bring us to the same conclusion as in the case of the vowels. Ch [ = x] as in loch has disappeared all over the n.Eng. area, except in a small portion of n.Cum., of which the southern limit is a line stretching from Bewcastle to Longtown and Gretna. See E.E.P., V., pp. 684-694. As soon as we get south of Carlisle ``h'' as in Scots ``hoo'' begins to disappear, and ``wh'' as in Eng. ``why'' begins to change into ``w'' --- e.g. at Lorton (4 miles w. of Cockermouth) in 1913 they were no longer heard (Brilioth's Grammar and Dial. of Lorton, p. 5); at Kendal, east of Lake Windermere, ``h'' was still in use in 1905, but ``wh'' [] was fainter than in Scotland (Hirst's Grammar and Dial. of Kendal, p. 13); on the eastern side ``wh'' and ``h'' still survive within Nhb., so that any Scotsman journeying southward finds the Northumbrian speech not unlike his own. Northumbrian, however, has a dialectal ``r,'' often called the burr (voiced back fricative consonant with inner or outer rounding), a sound which exists in Scotland only as an individual peculiarity. One other important n.Eng. consonantal feature, unknown in Scotland, may be mentioned --- i.e. the pronunciation of ``the'' as ``t'.'' The line of division between ``the'' and ``t,'' in the north runs from Moricambe Bay (13 miles w. of Carlisle) to Ryhope (3 miles sse. of Sunderland, see Map 1). As an example of this peculiarity, combined with the use of O.E. , we would cite the following quotation from the Trans. Yorks. Dial. Soc. (1906), p. 16. ``Ah's boon ta prune t'awd peearthree i' t' front o' t' hoose'' --- ``I am bound to prune the old pear-tree in the front of the house'' (Dialect of n. and e.Riding, Yks.).
§ 5.1. Sir James Murray assigns the greater part of the valley of the Esk and the whole of Liddesdale to n.Eng. See Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland, p. 25, footnote, and map. Dr Ellis, however, showed (E.E.P., V., pp. 716-723) that Liddesdale, like Teviotdale, was Scots in its main features, and recent investigation by the Scottish Dialects Committee has justified the same conclusion for the Esk valley. Further, Dr Ellis proved that Sc. phonetic features (e.g. use of [x]) extended beyond the political border on the west to a line running from Bewcastle to Longtown and Gretna. See E.E.P., V., pp. 684-694. Since Ellis's time (d.1890), religious and secular education directed from the south, modern means of locomotion and the movement of the population during the Great War have all helped to render this line less distinct, and have made the district between Carlisle and the Scottish Border a veritable linguistic Debatable Land. For all practical purposes the political and linguistic boundaries may be considered to coincide.


§ 5.2. A recent investigator1 writes to say that, so far as his own researches and those of his students go, Ellis's information about Nhb. dialect is in the main still true. He makes the following qualifications: ``The Northumberland sound in coom is, to my mind, libk.l.r. considerably under rounded, lowered and advanced [i.e. a sound approaching u of Eng. cut, but not identical with it]. After the burr [] it is h.bk.l.r. In Nhb. O.E. persists as a monophthong medially, but finally it has become ow [@u] m.fl.l.+h.bk.t.r.'' Cf. s.sc. § 101. In regard to the consonants he says ``ch'' [x], Sc. loch, has not been heard; ``wh'' [] is still heard in stressed words, but often ``w'' in weakly accented words; ``rd,'' ``rt,'' ``rl,'' ``rn''become inverted ``d,'' ``t,'' ``l,'' ``n,'' with the tongue well behind the upper teeth.

Western Boundary.
§ 6. For many generations the boundary between Lowland and Highland speech in Scotland appears to have been approximately what was laid down roughly on the map during the troubled times of the 18th cent. as the ``Highland line.'' This line runs from the Firth of Clyde along the foothills of Perthshire, crosses the Grampians near Ballater, and turning nw. reaches the Moray Firth a little to the west of Nairn. It is still in general conception the division between Lowlands and Highlands; and until the latter part of the 19th cent. it was still possible to regard it as a linguistic boundary between Scots and Gaelic. The whole of the country to the w. of that line could then be regarded as Gaelic-speaking, with some important exceptions --- namely, the town of Inverness, which had long been English-speaking, the Scots-speaking portions of the Black Isle, of Easter Ross and of Caithness, and certain urban communities, like Campbeltown and Rothesay. See Map 2.
§ 7. This line, then, marks, for practical purposes, the western limit of Lowland speech. But during the last few decades many factors have been at work tending to obliterate it as a linguistic boundary. The three most important of these factors have been: the rapid decline of the Gaelic language; movement of population; general education --- the latter bringing


1 Mr H. Orton, B.Litt., M.A.(Oxon.), Lecturer in English, Armstrong Tollege, Newcastle-on-Tyne.



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