PhD Thesis: ‘The Discursive Construction of Scots’

Successfully defended on Friday, 22 May 2009

Abstract

This thesis examines how the Scots language has been talked and written about in a variety of contexts in the recent past. This includes a textual analysis of various ‘official’ written documents produced in connection with Scots, and of focus groups comprised of Scottish people. The purpose of this analysis is to establish how Scots is discursively constructed, both from ‘above’ (through elite, educational and bureaucratic discourses) and from ‘below’ (through the discourses of ‘ordinary people’). The investigation uses an interdisciplinary critical discourse analysis approach (the discourse-historical approach, see Wodak et al. 1999) to examine texts in detail and also to investigate salient features of context. The ultimate aim of the research project is to expose hitherto concealed or ignored forms of discrimination against Scots speakers, to contribute to the body of knowledge about contemporary Scots, and to expand the range of possible applications for critical discourse analysis approaches.

Reference

WODAK, R., DE CILLIA, R., REISIGL, M. & LIEBHART, K. (1999) The discursive construction of national identity, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.

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