Among the topics treated in this collection are the status of Scots as a national language; the orthography of Scots; the actual and potential degree of standardisation of Scots; the debt of the vocabulary of Scots to Gaelic; the use of Scots in fictional dialogue; and the development of Scots as a poetic medium in the modern period. All fourteen articles, written and published between 1979 and 1988, have been extensively revised and updated. J. Derrick McClure is a senior lecturer in the English Department at Aberdeen University and a well-known authority on the history of Scots.
1. Introduction; 2. Lowland Scots: an ambivalent national tongue (1984); 3. The concept of Standard Scots (1979); 4. The debate on Scots orthography (1985); 5. Scottis, Inglis, Suddroun: language labels and language attitudes (1981); 6. The Pinkerton syndrome (1985); 7. What Scots owes to Gaelic (1986); 8. Scots in dialogue: some uses and implications (1983); 9. Linguistic characterisation in Rob Roy (1983); 10. Language varieties in The Three Perils of Man (1988); 11. Scots and English in Annals of the Parish and The Provost (1979); 12. The language on The Entail (1981); 13. Language and genre in Allan Ramsay's 1721 Poems (1987); 14. Scots and its use in recent poetry (1979); 15. The synthesisers of Scots (1981); 16. Bibliography; 17. Index of Names; 18. General Index