August 21, 2023

West ah Scotland

In my transcriptions, I’ve been writing in accordance with the spoken word in order to capture the authentic language of my participants. I think this was important because I have a variety of people, from various backgrounds and social classes, and I thought it would be interesting to show the differences on paper to match the recordings. One thing I have noticed as a result of this, and something I found quite interesting, is that, in Scots, it’s common for the letter ‘f’ to be abandoned when saying the word ‘of’. Thus, we see the Scots word o’ in its place.

However, in the working class schemes across Glasgow, people tend not to say o’, they would say ‘ah’. For example, my participants would say ‘West ah Scotland’, not ‘West o’ Scotland’. However, context matters. If my participants from working-class areas were discussing the West of Scotland, they would say the ‘West ah Scotland’. Though, if they were to talk about something being West of Scotland, then they would say ‘West ae Scotland’, as opposed to ah. Thus, there is a distinction, and by opting for o’, as opposed to ‘ae’ and ‘ah’, then it is a distinction that would normally go unrecognised. This is just one of the many interesting points I’ve taken from the analysis of the language used in my interviews so far. I’m by no means a sociolinguist, but I believe there’s a lot in here that can, and should be learned from. Nonetheless, it’s been a really enjoyable process.