This week is Mother Tongue week, and we've decided to celebrate it at my work/school, TISA. In my homeroom alone, we have 1 Spanish speaker, 4 Russian/Azeri speakers, 1 Mandarin/Cantonese speaker, 1 Italian Speaker, 1 Russian/English speaker, 7 English speakers (one with a Persian/Iranian background, and another whose parents speak Italian and German), and 2 Scottish speakers. What a diverse group!!
That last group was contentious -- is Scottish a dialect or a language in its own right? Scots, of course, insist it is a language, yet it is based on an English grammatical structure where many English speakers can understand large parts of the language. Sure, there are unique words in the language, but even New Zealand English has its own words - jandals, crook, chook, wagging, etc, although to be fair Scottish has more words than most dialects!! Wikipedia said that there is no accepted definition for where to draw the line between a dialect and a language, so there is no final answer. Heated discussions, though!! :)