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The dialect of North-East Scotland, one of the most distinctive and best preserved in the country, survives as both a proudly maintained mark of local identity and the vehicle for a remarkable regional literature. The present study, after placing the dialect in its historical, geographical and social context, discusses in some detail a selection of previous accounts of its distinctive characteristics of phonology and grammar, showing that its shibboleths have been well recognised, and have remained consistent, over a long period. Passages of recorded speech are then examined, with extensive use of phonetic transcription. Finally, a representative selection of written texts, dating from the eighteenth century to the present and illustrating a wide variety of styles and genres, are presented with detailed annotations. A full glossary is also included. This study clearly demonstrates both the individuality of the dialect and the richness of the local culture of which it is an integral part.