John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen, has the distinction of initiating the great tradition of literature in the Lowland Scots tongue. This claim, admittedly, must be buttressed with reservations: for one thing, the fact that his epic poem is the first literary work of any importance to survive in Scots does not of course prove that it was the first ever written; and for another, the tongue in which he wrote was then the most northerly form of a continuously varying series of dialects within an area in which the political border between the kingdoms had no linguistic status whatever: Barbour, like all his compatriots until much later, referred to his language as Inglis, and if he and his contemporary Chaucer ever …

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Citation:
McClure, J. Derrick. "John Barbour". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=251, accessed 25 April 2014.]