The first English language to be spoken in Scotland was Scots, which was based on a dialect of Old English brought to the south-east of present-day Scotland by Anglic invaders in the 6th century. Scots gradually gained in importance and replaced Scottish Gaelic as the dominant language and the language of the Scottish court in the late 13th century. From the sixteenth century onwards, Scots became subject to the influence of (and was in some contexts replaced by) southern English through factors such as the introduction of the printing press, the Reformation, the Union of the Crowns in 1603, and the Union of Parliaments in 1707. Today, the linguistic situation is often described as a linguistic continuum (called Scottish English) with the standard pole of Scottish Standard English (SSE) and the non-standard pole of Scots. Within this continuum, Scots has become dialectalised with English, but its features remain strong and distinctive in certain spoken and written registers. Scottish Standard English is usually defined as the Standard British English dialect spoken with a Scottish standard accent. In the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Scottish Gaelic is still spoken by some. In these regions, a variety of SSE called Highland English is spoken, which resulted from a contact situation between Gaelic and English. The Northern Isles of Shetland and Orkney are also characterised by a slightly different linguistic situation, due to the historical influence of Old Norse. Scotland has a population of approximately 5.3 million.
Corbett, John & Jane Stuart-Smith (2012) Standard English in Scotland. In Raymond Hickey (ed.) Standards of English. Codified Varieties around the World. Cambridge: CUP. 72-95.
Jones, Charles (2002) The English Language in Scotland: An Introduction to Scots. East Linton: Tuckwell Press.
Miller, Jim (2008} Scottish English: Morphology and Syntax. In: Bernd Kortmann & Clive Upton (eds.) Varieties of English. Vol. 1: The British Isles. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 299–327.
Stuart-Smith, Jane (2008) Scottish English: Phonology. In: Bernd Kortmann & Clive Upton (eds.) Varieties of English. Vol. 1: The British Isles. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 48-70.