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(1) The diphthong ei occurs in the same classes as in the Black Isle, and in the younger generation is replaced by the a of fate [e], the Mry. vowel. See § 147.1.
(2) The diphthong oi also appears in words like pipe, but only among old people, and ow before g and l can be heard, as in dowg, bowld, fowg.
(3) , written au, aw, is wanting in this dialect, as in n.Sc. generally. The long a that takes its place, written often aa, and the short a as well, tend to be sharper than in other parts of the north --- i.e. pronounced with the tongue advanced from the back position. Examples: wall, old, hold, cold, all, owe are waa, aal, haad, caal, aa + aal.
(4) u. This vowel is pronounced with the tongue very much advanced in the mouth, giving a sound midway between the Fr. u in rude and the Eng. oo in rood. This is a very marked feature of Cai. speech; for a similar phenomenon in Gsw. speech see § 93.4.
§ 158. d and t before r are pronounced with the tongue advanced to the teeth. In the suffix ed, d does not become t as in other Sc. dialects --- e.g. chapped, crabbed, barefooted are chappid, crabbed, beirfeeted [apId, krabId, etc.]. So likewise the noun termination et becomes ad, as limpet, packet = limpad, packad. It is either hid or id.
k. Words ending in ock (unaccented), whether diminutive or not, change ock into ag --- e.g. bannick, paddock become bannag, paddag; bairn --- bairnag, bairnagie; wife --- wife-ag, wife- agie. d may be inserted between the ag or ie diminutive endings and n or l ending the word --- e.g. John --- Johndie, Johndag [tndi, tndg], Wuldag [ wldg].
l medial, and final l and n are pronounced with the point of tongue advanced to the teeth, as in siller, pale.
f is used for initial wh as in ne.Sc.
th [ð] becomes f in a few words --- e.g. meeth (sultry), thresh (corn), Thursday become meef, fresh, Fuirsday [fju:rzd]. Place-name Thrasvik is now Freswick. Cf. feets for theets (plough- traces) in Rxb.
th initial is dropped in all pronominals --- e.g. the, they, there become ee, ey, ere. This gives a curious wheedling effect to the speech. In the, on the, of the, at the are often reduced to 'e in Canisbay speech. See two examples in § 158.1. See also §§ 96.6, 125.
ch [t] initial is pronounced as sh , as in the Black Isle, Sh., and Chirnside in Bwksh. --- e.g. chalk, cheese, chimney are pronounced shaak, sheeze, shumley.
Initial j or g [d], as in Jean and gin, is pronounced like ch in chin, hence Janet becomes Chinnad.
In the speech of the last generation the distinction between the pr.p. and the gerund was still recognised, representing the Middle Sc. and and ing --- e.g. fechtand and fechting. ``He wis aye gutteran aboot.'' ``He's fond o' gutterin aboot.''
v is still heard for w before r, in words like wreck, wrong --- e.g. vrack, vrang --- but chiefly in Canisbay.
r is pronounced with inverted point of tongue and is commonly called the trailing r , the on-glide being particularly strong.
k is still known before n, as in knife and knowe, in the older speech.
An example of the Caithness speech of Canisbay.
§ 158.1. Cai.(D) 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 4: ``En Donel' says tee's brither: `Boy, he 1 micht be a shance 'e day for a dip 'e Soon', gin we hed twa'r three lempads.' `O aye,' says Peter, `at may be, bit 'ey'll be nee ebb nor Soon' for his 'iss day, we man feenish 'e barlan 2 reeg, Donel', if we dinna feenish 'ir 'iss week, we'll be 'e mooth 'e pairish. Ither shither's 3 a' feenished a week sin.''' Note ``'e'' for in the.
§ 159. Orkney and Shetland were colonised from Norway in the 9th cent., the greatest influx taking place in the reign of Harald Harfager. The Scand. speech of the colonists had, at that time, probably not yet broken up into distinct dialects. At a later period that variety of it spoken in Norway and its colonies came to be known as Norr
oena (i.e. Northern), and its
Used in speaking of the weather.
2 Bereland --- i.e. barley land.
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