Scandinavian influence on Southern Lowland Scotch

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This work aims primarily at giving a list of Scandinavian loanwords found in Scottish literature. The publications of the Scottish Text Society and Scotch works published by the Early English Text Society have been examined. To these have been added a number of other works to which I had access, principally Middle Scotch. Some words have been taken from works more recent—"Mansie Wauch" by James Moir, "Johnnie Gibb" by William Alexander, Isaiah and The Psalms by P. Hately Waddell—partly to illustrate New Scotch forms, but also because they help to show the dialectal provenience of loanwords. Norse elements in the Northern dialects of Lowland Scotch, those of Caithness and Insular Scotland, are not represented in this work. My list of loanwords is probably far from complete. A few early Scottish texts I have not been able to examine. These as well as the large number of vernacular writings of the last 150 years will have to be examined before anything like completeness can be arrived at.

I have adopted certain tests of form, meaning, and distribution. With regard to the test of the form of a word great care must be exercised. Old Norse and Old Northumbrian have a great many characteristics in common, and some of these are the very ones in which Old Northumbrian differs from West Saxon. It has, consequently, in not a few cases, been difficult to decide whether a word is a loanword or not. Tests that apply in the South prove nothing for the North. Brate rightly regarded leȝȝkenn in the Ormulum as a Scandinavian loanword, but in Middle Scotch laiken or laken would be the form of the word whether Norse or genuine English. Certain well-known tests of form, however, first formulated by Brate, such as ou for O. E. ea, or the assimilation of certain consonants apply as well to Scotch as to Early Middle English. The distribution of a word in English dialects frequently helps to ascertain its real history, and may become a final test where those of form and meaning leave us in doubt. In the study of Norse or Scandinavian influence on Lowland Scotch the question of Gaelic influence cannot be overlooked. The extent of Norse influence on Celtic in Caithness, Sutherland and the Western Highlands, has never been ascertained, nor the influence of Celtic on Lowland Scotch. A large number of Scandinavian loanwords are common to Gaelic, Irish, and Lowland Scotch. It is possible that some of these have come into Scotch through Gaelic and not directly from Norse. Perhaps faid, "a company of hunters," is such a word.

There are no works bearing directly on the subject of Scandinavian elements in Lowland Scotch proper. J. Jakobsen's work, "Det Sprog på Shetland," has sometimes given me valuable hints. From Brate's well-known work on the Ormulum I have derived a great deal of help. Steenstrup's "Danelag" has been of assistance to me, as also Kluge's "Geschichte der englischen Sprache" in Paul's Grundriss, the latter especially with regard to characteristics of Northern English....