Another language is dead.
Two weeks ago, the last man who fluently spoke the Cromarty dialect died at age 92 in a small town on the tip of Scotland’s Black Isle.
==The Cromarty dialect included a helping of archaic “thees” and “thous” as well as a wealth of seafaring vocabulary, including three sets of words for “second fishing line.”
The aspirate “h” was often added or subtracted, so that “house” would be pronounced “oos” and “apple” would be pronounced “haypel.” The “wh” sound was often dropped entirely.” ==
A few phrases taken from a related link:
Foamin for want / Desperate for tea: At’s theer trouble? / What’s your trouble?: Theer nae tae big fi a sclaffert yet! / You’re not too big for a slap!: Ah wudna ken artil start. / I wouldn’t know where to start.
I think it’s a beautiful dialect. It’s called a death by linguists because although they have it recorded, Cromarty is no longer spoken as a native dialect.
In his book, When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World’s Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge, K. David Harrison says,
“By the year 2100, many linguists estimate, half of the world’s 6,912 distinct languages will be extinct. At present, 548 of them retain fewer than ninety-nine speakers (this book was written in 2008). We can expect to lose a language every ten days; and behind each of these disappearances lies a story of cultural loss, sadness and isolation.”
I’ve addressed the question of language evolution on more than one occasion, but this article presented a new thought to me. While language has always changed in the natural course of history, linguists feel it is also becoming more standardized because of “urbanization, compulsory education, and mass media.”
I’m not here to debate pros and cons or the difference between language and dialect.
I just wanted to raise a glass to Bobby Hogg and Cromarty.