University Press Copublishing Division / Bucknell University Press
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-61148-528-8 • Hardback • November 2013 • $107.00 • (£82.00)
978-1-61148-704-6 • Paperback • August 2015 • $54.99 • (£42.00)
978-1-61148-529-5 • eBook • November 2013 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Alex Broadhead is a University teacher at the University of Liverpool.
Preface and Acknowledgments
Chapter 1: Burns on language: the poems
Chapter 2: Burns on language 2: beyond the poems
Chapter 3: Scots and Stereotypes
Chapter 4: Language Contact 1: Transmugrifications
Chapter 5: Language Contact 2: Code-Switching
About the Author
In this fascinating study, Broadhead presents a picture of Burns that is far removed from the rustic self-educated Scottish peasant who used the Scottish dialect in his poetry because he was not sufficiently sophisticated in his use of English. . . .Broadhead takes a 21st-century sociolinguistic approach to show that Burns not only had great command of both English and Scots, but also was a master linguist who manipulated different registers and dialects in his poetry. The author presents his argument in his coherent introduction; in the five chapters that follow, he focuses on different aspects of Burns's use of language in his poetry. Writing primarily for those conversant with literary criticism, the author includes easy-to-understand explanations of the linguistic concepts he uses and a wealth of examples from the poetry itself to illustrate his argument effectively. In taking a linguistic approach, Broadhead reveals another intriguing layer of Burns's sociopolitical and cultural impact. . . .A helpful glossary of Scots words is included. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through faculty.
— Choice Reviews
For most literary scholars, the value of the book may seem to lie in its detailed comments on particular works or passages, but it also lays out a larger case about the language scene in late 18th century Scotland and about Burns’s activity and significance for its continuing development.
— Studies In Scottish Literature
This study makes an outstanding contribution to the on-going reassessment of the function of language in Robert Burns’s literary works. Applying ideas and methods from modern sociolinguistics, Broadhead undertakes a perceptive evaluation of Burns’s linguistic astuteness, and he challenges the common misconception of the poet as a vernacular writer marginalised by his mixing of English, Scots and local dialects. Instead, Broadhead offers a critically nuanced account of the poet’s multilingualism and linguistic experimentalism. . . .Broadhead succeeds both in offering a new perspective on the linguistic complexity of Burns’s literary endeavours and in illuminating the centrality of language in the poet’s cultural and literary legacies. . . .Broadhead provides an account of a poetical polyglot and verbal artist with a remarkable ear for language and a tremendous capacity for combining different linguistic registers and different styles in his verse. Broadhead’s analyses consolidate, extend and refine previous scholarship. His chief contribution in this respect stems from his intensive application of sociolinguistic theory. . . .[B]y thinking through Burns’s language and writing about language in these terms, Broadhead increases our appreciation of Burns’s linguistic thinking and his stylistic routines.
— The BARS Review