Do you like a smoodge or a swallie, and do you stagger after a Mick Jagger? Wherever you are in Scotland your weather is bound to be oorie, chilpy or dreich. Scots Words and Place-names wants to hear about how people are using Scots words – this is all about your contribution to a totally new, interactive way of collecting the language you speak.
The Jisc-funded Scots Words and Place-names (SWAP) project, launching on 21st June and based at the University of Glasgow, is trying to find out more about the language that people speak in their everyday lives in different parts of Scotland.
SWAP will use social media to encourage the public to talk about the Scots words they use, helping create the next Scots dictionaries. There is a Facebook page and Twitter feed (@Scotswap) alongside the SWAP website.
Alastair Dunning, programme manager at Jisc, said, "Websites that ask for public contributions, like the BBC's NatureWatch, work best when their goal really resonates with their audiences. In the Scots Words and Place-names project, University of Glasgow researchers have found a fantastic way of using technology to open up and share the everyday words of the Scots population."Contribute the words you know on the Facebook page and Twitter feed (@Scotswap) or via the SWAP website.Scots is largely a spoken language, yet research into the way people speak it relies mainly on books and other written sources. The SWAP project is the public’s chance to get involved with academic research. They want contributions from anyone who uses Scots words and the resources available on the website will grow as the public add their own knowledge.
The results will add to the word collections of Scottish Language Dictionaries, helping form new Scots dictionaries, and contribute to knowledge of Scots place-names, enhancing the work of the Scottish Place-Name Society. Information gathered will be added into a Scots place-name glossary to supplement the dictionary-based research which was used to create it.
The project is also running a competition throughout June on Glow, the Scottish schools intranet, with judges including the novelist Louise Welsh. This aims to get children and teachers using Scots in schools. The entries have been enlightening so far, including discussions of Scots words from ‘dumfoonerin’ to ‘bahookie’.
Professor Carole Hough of the University of Glasgow, principal investigator of the project, said, “Research into the Scots language, and Scottish place-names, has really taken off in recent years. This project is a great opportunity to share it with the public, and to get more insights from local knowledge.”
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