Unusual take on the language vs dialect debate. Sara Clark, originally from Yorkshire but now living Hawick compares her native dialect with Scots. Dialect, she says, is a natural and accepted part of Yorkshire culture; “Dialect, tae me, is a reflex reaction, an in-biggit short route tae sel-expression that kicks in at ma least sel-conscious moments. An ah speak it halely consequence free. Awbody likes a guid Northern-English ‘accent’, eh? It’s warm, comfortin, unthreitenin”. In this sense it is, “gey close in kind tae the dialects o Scots”. But there is a difference.
…ah’ve never wance been mocked for my uise o Yorkshire dialect – not in ma ain kintrae, an no in England either. Ah wis brocht up thinkin ma choices o wirds wir valid. Aw ma English freends an faimily hiv spoken an scrieved whitever wey they liked frae day dot. Ah’ve never kent onythin else, an like as no ah never will. For aw its emotional an cultural significance, Yorkshire IS a dialect o English – but Scots ISNAE.
She’s implies Scots (with all its dialects) has been derided and deliberately deligitimised for the very reason it is not a comfy English dialect, but a linguistic outsider and so a dangerous threat to the hegemony of British identity.