Cultural Communication, Language Performance and National Literatures
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This chapter examines the history and contemporary interaction among the various languages of Scotland, chiefly Scots, Gaelic and English. It considers the political tensions that still surround the use of these languages and provides a context for these tensions. It goes on to examine the ways in which English Literature has developed as an academic discipline and the ways that influential critics in Britain have over more than two centuries sought to include in the study of that literature only work in English in an imperialist and metropolitan manner. The values of Scottishness and Scottish literature, it is suggested, are derived from the interaction of all of Scotland’s languages, so marking those values as concerned with openness and intercultural inclusiveness.