The Straits Times
Published on Oct 03, 2012

Fisherman dies, taking Scottish dialect with him


LONDON (AP) - In a remote fishing town on the tip of Scotland's Black Isle, the last native speaker of the Cromarty dialect has died, taking with him another little piece of the English linguistic mosaic.

Scottish academics said on Wednesday that Mr Bobby Hogg, who died last week at age 92, was the last person fluent in the dialect once common in the seaside town of Cromarty, about 280 km north of Scottish capital Edinburgh.

The Biblically-influenced speech - complete with "thee" and "thou" - is one of many fading dialects which have been snuffed out across the British Isles. Across the world, regional languages and dialects have disappeared as rural populations move to urban areas and compulsory education and mass media combine to iron out the kinks in local speech.