“THE QUEEN’S FUCKIN ENGLISH, KEN?” An analysis of the language of Trainspotting
The novel Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh is a work that has been acknowledged and appreciated for its use of non-standard language since its publication. This essay seeks to find out if this non-standard language is simply Scottish English, or if it is Scots, a language different from English that is sometimes regarded as a dialect of the same. Through the use of a quantitative corpus stylistic analysis as well as a qualitative close reading focusing, among other things, on code switching, the essay shows that there is substantial reason to believe that the language used in the novel is in fact Scots. It also shows that code switching is often performed when the speakers of this non-prestigious variety are confronted with speakers of Standard English.