Historical Thesaurus of Scots

This pilot project resulted in a new online resource which aims to categorise the vocabulary of Scots, from the earliest records to the present, according to semantic field. It focuses on two categories that are rich in Scots vocabulary: weather and sports & games.

Visualisation of the tree-based structure with the category for 'Snow/slush/sleet' selected
Visualisation of the tree-based structure with the category for 'Snow/slush/sleet' selected

The Historical Thesaurus of Scots (HTS) project aimed to create a new, online thesaurus covering the vocabulary of Scots from the earliest records to the present day, based on the data in the Dictionary of the Scots Language (www.dsl.ac.uk). It was the first thesaurus of Scots organised on historical lines and the first comprehensive resource for the Scots language arranged according to synonymy and semantic category. It took as its model the landmark Historical Thesaurus of English (HTE), begun by the late Professor Michael Samuels at the University of Glasgow in 1965 and completed in 2008 under the direction of Professor Christian Kay.

The project intended to aid linguists, writers, schools, and the general public in their study of the Scots language, by providing new ways to explore the rich resources of Scots vocabulary. The project was a partnership with Scottish Language Dictionaries, who provided the source data from which the thesaurus was compiled.

The pilot was funded by a grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, under the Digital Transformations theme. It focused on selected subject domains which are rich in Scots vocabulary, including sports & games and weather, in order to create a subset of the thesaurus which will was made available online in September 2015.

Project website: https://scotsthesaurus.org/


Main contact: Susan Rennie

Developer: Brian Aitken

Start year: 2014

End year: 2015

Funded by: AHRCESRC

Subject area: English Language & Linguistics

Keywords: ScotsVisualisation

Record last updated 2020-01-13