Welcome to A Linguistic Atlas of Older Scots (LAOS). This is the first publication of the first phase of LAOS, in the form of an interactive website. LAOS aims to present information about the variation in space and time of linguistic forms found in Older Scots texts. Older Scots conventionally covers the period 1150 to 1700, although the extant continuous texts date between 1380 and 1700. This first phase of the atlas covers the earlier period, 1380 to 1500. Also, the corpus of texts used in this version, 1.1, contains primarily ‘local documents’, i.e. writings which can be localized from internal, non-linguistic references. A sub-corpus of literary texts in manuscripts from the period before 1500 is in preparation. The aim is to add this to LAOS as time permits.
The present website is an intermediate stage between the original (beta), published in 2008, and a new version in preparation.
LAOS is a ‘daughter’ atlas of A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English, 1350-1450 (LALME), ed. Angus McIntosh, M.L. Samuels and Michael Benskin (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press; Edinburgh: Mercat Press). LAOS develops the limited coverage of Scots in LALME to treat in greater depth texts from the whole of the geographical area where Older Scots was used.
LALME has now been partly revised and has been made freely accessible in a web resource: A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English, 1350 to 1450 (eLALME).
The other ‘daughter’ of LALME and companion web-site to this one is A Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English, 1150-1325 (LAEME), which deals with variation in written English in the period before that of LALME.
• the LAOS Corpus of lexico-grammatically tagged texts
• a database containing information about the texts in the LAOS Corpus
• a set of Tasks which allow you to search the databases.
LAOS will allow you to:
• search and retrieve linguistic data from its corpus of lexico-grammatically tagged texts
• search and retrieve data from the database of sources
• view maps showing the geographical distribution of linguistic features across space
• view and create chronological tables, graphs and charts showing the distribution of linguistic features through time.
Clicking on the LAOS title takes you to the main page. Here you will see a list of ‘Tasks’. Clicking on a Task calls up a menu in the main section of the window (the ‘Task Area’) Information about a Task is displayed by passing the cursor over a symbol |Key| in the menu. (This system replaces the ‘Manual’ in the previous version of LAOS). New Tasks may be added to the website as time and resources permit.
LAOS is intended as a non-commercial research and teaching resource. We ask you to respect the materials you use in the same way that you would those in a printed book, with appropriate citation and regard for copyright. The LAOS website and its materials are the copyright of The University of Edinburgh. For information about citing LAOS please go to Citing LAOS and for important information about copyright please read the LAOS Copyright statement.
Whatever your motivation for using LAOS (research, teaching or just curiosity), we hope that you will find LAOS a rewarding resource, and that you will enjoy making discoveries about a part of Scotland’s fascinating linguistic past.
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