Perceptions of the Social and Cultural Factors Which Have Influenced the Use of Dialect in Orkney

Rendall, Thomas (2013). Perceptions of the Social and Cultural Factors Which Have Influenced the Use of Dialect in Orkney. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f1ab

Abstract

This thesis examines the social and cultural factors which have influenced the use of dialect in Orkney. Orcadians could be said to be bi-dialectal speaking an Orcadian-influenced Scottish Standard English including Norse-derived lexical items spoken within a diglossic speech situation.

The main factors on which the research questions were based featured the effects of migration on the language and dialect of the islands; the attitudes of the local population on the use of dialect in a variety of situations; the consequences of greater demographic movement within Orkney and how this might have shaped the way people interact within the community. Through interviews with people from 13 different locations along with the completion of 100 questionnaires, a comprehensive range of information has been gathered.

The thesis provides a contribution to the literature on the use of dialect in Orkney in an area which has hitherto been generally overlooked and certainly not covered from a social and cultural perspective.

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