Home» Publications» SLD Newsletter» Newsletter Autumn 2015» SLD News

SLD News

Outreach and Education

Stirling Castle
© Crown Copyright HES

Dr Ruth O'Donovan, Elaine Webster and Professor Jeremy Smith were delighted to be invited by Historic Scotland to the 'Mither Tongue' weekend event at Stirling Castle. Scottish Language Dictionaries' stall was set out in the Great Hall (right). There was great interest in the volumes of A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and The Scottish National Dictionary which we brought along. Local visitors and visitors from overseas alike shared their interest in Scots. It was a great opportunity to consult the online Dictionary of the Scots Language and the Scots Dictionary for Schools app too. SLD's banner with Scots words for food fitted in well with the display of food in the Hall and SLD's quiz encouraged interest in our work and the 'sponsor-a-word' scheme in particular. Congratulations to quiz winner Christina Owen.

Elaine Webster gave two workshops at Education Scotland's 'Scots Language' event for teachers in Stirling. Dr Alasdair Allan, who is Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages, gave the keynote speech. The Scottish Government together with Education Scotland launched a joint policy for the promotion and support of the Scots language at this event. The policy was developed in consultation with a number of parties and the document sets out aims and how these might be achieved. It also sets out a range of actions that Education Scotland's Scots Language Co-ordinators will take forward in the coming months. Details of the policy are available on the Scottish Government website.

Elaine Webster attended the Association for Scottish Literary Studies conference for schools and the Scottish Studies in Schools event on behalf of SLD. SLD leaflets and postcards were shared with attendees.

SLD is working with a community group at the Central Library and with schools in Edinburgh as part of Book Week Scotland during the week beginning 23rd November. SLD staff attended the launch of Book Week Scotland at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh; the national event celebrates books and literacy. Elaine Webster has also been invited to work with school groups in Edinburgh in that period. The publication which will be distributed for Book Week Scotland this year is entitled Journeys and Scottish Language Dictionaries is delighted that a poem by our administrator Catherine McDonald has been included in the publication. The poem is entitled 'Meet Me at St Monans' and you can read it in full on the Scottish Book Trust's website.

Scots Word of the Week

Every Saturday a short piece entitled Scots Word of the Week appears in The Herald newspaper. This is written by members of SLD staff and draws on the material in the online Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL). The articles are also available on SLD's website and that of the Scots Language Centre.

Sponsor a Scots word as a Christmas gift

A Scots word or a Scots phrase makes an unusual gift. This sponsorship scheme supports our editorial work. Please have a look at the Sponsor a Word section for more details. You might be interested in gifting someone you know a membership or in purchasing a book from our list of publications including the popular 'Say it in Scots!' series. All this information is available on this website but please phone or email us if you would like more details.

Please let us know of any groups nationally or internationally who would like to hear more about us by signing up for our newsletter. You might like to follow Scottish Language Dictionaries on Facebook or Twitter.


Our Lexicographical Projects

Concise Scots Dictionary – second edition

Our main lexicographical focus is on the second edition of The Concise Scots Dictionary – work continues apace as we work on the pre-publication stage. As ever, we are grateful to the Scottish Government, who provide our core funding.

Streamlining the DSL

It is just over a year since the online Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) was relaunched in an updated website and with improved features and search options. We receive feedback from frequent users of DSL and from learners on our outreach visit 'drop-in' sessions in libraries.

Although the new website includes improvements in functions such as cross-references and searching, the content still has the same structure as the original printed dictionaries. For example, when the final volume of The Scottish National Dictionary was published in 1976, it included a supplement containing both new entries, and material supplementary to already-existing entries. In 2005, after the launch of DSL, a further, online-only supplement was added which brought the DSL up to date with more modern material.

The entries in each of these supplements are listed separately in DSL. So, a search for the preposition forenent produces three results – a main entry, and entries from each of the two supplements. You would have to look at all three of these to see all the material relating to that word.

To address this situation and make DSL easier to use, our next project is to incorporate as many as possible of the supplementary entries into the appropriate main entries, so that all the material relating to each main entry is displayed on the same page. As there are many thousands of supplementary entries, this undertaking will involve a considerable amount of work, both in checking and preparing the material, and in implementing the necessary changes to how the dictionary entries are displayed. We are grateful to the Scottish Government for additional funding which will enable us to undertake this project and to continue to share these developments and improvements with the wider community.

We should begin to see the results of the project in the first quarter of next year, and look forward to reporting on progress and our plans for to DSL in our next newsletter.

Scottish Lexicography Symposium: ScotLex-1

SLD is delighted to announce the first Scottish Lexicography Symposium – ScotLex-1 – at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on Friday 8th April 2016.

Scotland has historically made a disproportionate contribution to the field of lexicography, from the pivotal work of Jamieson to the innovative publishing of the Chambers brothers in Edinburgh, and Murray's then Craigie's stewardship of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). This is arguably still true today with two national dictionary organisations (for Scots and Gaelic), leading academic research in historical lexicography including projects such as the Historical Thesaurus of English, a Scot once again at the OED helm and the ongoing presence of Collins in Glasgow.

In this context, ScotLex-1 looks to celebrate current lexicographical work with a focus on methodologies and practice. The symposium will be discursive and forward-looking in its aims and provide opportunities for knowledge-sharing, collaboration and the dissemination of experience and best practice in Scotland and beyond.

The following themes will be explored by Scottish and international contributors:

The programme of talks and sessions will be available in early January.