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Ulster Scots or Ulster-Scots (', ga, Albainis Ultach), also known as Ulster Scotch, Scots-Irish and Ullans, is the dialect of Scots spoken in parts of
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
.Gregg, R. J. (1972) "The Scotch-Irish Dialect Boundaries in Ulster" in Wakelin, M. F., ''Patterns in the Folk Speech of the British Isles'', London: Athlone PressMacafee, C. (2001) "Lowland Sources of Ulster Scots" in J. M. Kirk & D. P. Ó Baoill, ''Languages Links: the Languages of Scotland and Ireland'', Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona, p. 121 It is generally considered a
dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * One usage refers to a variety (linguis ...
or group of dialects of Scots, although groups such as the Ulster-Scots Language Society and Ulster-Scots Academy consider it a language in its own right, and the
Ulster-Scots Agency The Ulster-Scots Agency (''Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch'') is a cross- border body for Ireland which seeks to "promote the study, conservation and development of Ulster-Scots as a living language, to encourage and develop the full range of its atten ...
and former
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), translated in Irish Language, Irish as and in Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots as , was a devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. ...
have used the term Ulster-Scots language. Some definitions of Ulster Scots may also include
Standard English In an English-speaking country This article is intended to provide details and data regarding the geographical distribution of all English speakers, regardless of the legislative status of the countries where it's spoken. The English language is o ...
spoken with an Ulster Scots accent.Harris, J. (1985) ''Phonological Variation and Change: Studies in Hiberno English'', Cambridge. p. 14 This is a situation like that of Lowland Scots and
Scottish Standard English Scottish English ( gd, Beurla Albannach) is the set of varieties of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eve ...
with words pronounced using the Ulster Scots
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
s closest to those of Standard English.Harris (1984) "English in the north of Ireland" in P. Trudgill, ''Language in the British Isles'', Cambridge; p. 119 Ulster Scots has been influenced by
Hiberno-English Hiberno-English (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" ...
, particularly
Ulster English Ulster English ( sco, label= Ulster Scots, Ulstèr Inglish, ga, Béarla Uladh, also called Northern Hiberno-English Hiberno-English (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a langua ...
, and by
Ulster Irish Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label= Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces, in the north of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an ...
. As a result of the competing influences of English and Scots,
varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety Algebraic varieties are the central objects of study in algebraic geometry Algebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, ...
of Ulster Scots can be described as "more English" or "more Scots".


Names

While once referred to as ''Scotch-Irish'' by several researchers, that has now been superseded by the term ''Ulster Scots''. Speakers usually refer to their vernacular as 'Braid Scots',Traynor, Michael (1953) ''The English Dialect of Donegal''. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, p. 36 '
Scotch Scotch most commonly refers to: * Scotch (adjective), a largely obsolescent adjective meaning "of or from Scotland" **Scotch, old-fashioned name for the indigenous languages of the Scottish people: ***Scots language ("Broad Scotch") *** Scottish Ga ...
'Traynor (1953), p. 244 or 'the hamely tongue'. Since the 1980s ''Ullans'', a
neologism A neologism (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
popularized by the physician, amateur historian and politician
Ian Adamson Ian Adamson OBE (28 June 1944 – 9 January 2019) was a Lord Mayor of Belfast. He was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP; ga, Páirtí Aontachtach Uladh) is a Unionist (Ireland), unionist political party ...
, merging ''Ulster'' and ''
Lallans Lallans (; a variant of the Modern Scots word ''lawlands'' meaning the lowlands of Scotland), is a term that was traditionally used to refer to the Scots language Scots ( sco, Scots; gd, Albais/Beurla Ghallda) is a West Germanic languag ...
'', the Scots for ''Lowlands'', but also an acronym for “Ulster-Scots language in literature and native speech”Tymoczko, M. & Ireland, C. A. (2003) ''Language and Tradition in Ireland: Continuities and Displacements'', Univ of Massachusetts Press. p. 159 and ''Ulstèr-Scotch'', the preferred revivalist parlance, have also been used. Occasionally, the term ''Hiberno-Scots'' is used, but it is usually used for the ethnic group rather than the vernacular.


Speaker population and spread

During the middle of the 20th century, the linguist Robert John Gregg established the geographical boundaries of Ulster's Scots-speaking areas based on information gathered from native speakers. By his definition, Ulster Scots is spoken in mid and east Antrim, north
Down Down most often refers to: * Down, the relative direction Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are orientation (geometry), geometrical orientations relative to a body such as a human person's. The most common one ...

Down
, north-east
County Londonderry County Londonderry (Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ulstèr-Scotch'', ga, Alban ...

County Londonderry
, and in the fishing villages of the Mourne coast. It is also spoken in the Laggan district and parts of the Finn Valley in east
DonegalDonegal may refer to: County Donegal, Ireland * County Donegal, a county in the Republic of Ireland, part of the province of Ulster * Donegal Bay, an inlet in the northwest of Ireland bordering counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo * Donegal (town), ...
and in the south of
Inishowen Inishowen () is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical ...

Inishowen
in north
DonegalDonegal may refer to: County Donegal, Ireland * County Donegal, a county in the Republic of Ireland, part of the province of Ulster * Donegal Bay, an inlet in the northwest of Ireland bordering counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo * Donegal (town), ...
. Writing in 2020, the
Fintona Fintona (; ), is a village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland lying within the civil parish of Donacavey. Its population was calculated in the 2011 Census as 1,164. History The local area has been known to have had human activ ...
-born linguist Warren Maguire argued that some of the criteria that Gregg used as distinctive of Ulster Scots are common in south-west Tyrone and were found in other sites across Northern Ireland investigated by the
Linguistic Survey of ScotlandThe Linguistic Survey of Scotland was a long-term project at the University of Edinburgh , latin_name = Universitas Academica Edinburgensis , image_name = University of Edinburgh ceremonial roundel.svg , image_size = 150px , established = , ...
. The 1999 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey found that 2% of
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
residents claimed to speak Ulster Scots, which would mean a total speech community of approximately 30,000 in the territory. Other estimates range from 35,000 in Northern Ireland, to an "optimistic" total of 100,000 including the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
(mainly the east of
County Donegal County Donegal ( ; ga, Contae Dhún na nGall) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William ...
). Speaking at a seminar on 9 September 2004, Ian Sloan of the Northern Ireland
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), translated in Irish Language, Irish as and in Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots as , was a devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. ...
(DCAL) accepted that the 1999 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey "did not significantly indicate that unionists or nationalists were relatively any more or less likely to speak Ulster Scots, although in absolute terms there were more unionists who spoke Ulster Scots than nationalists". In the 2011 census of Northern Ireland, 16,373 people (0.9% of the population) stated that they can speak, read, write and understand Ulster Scots and 140,204 people (8.1% of the population) reported having some ability in Ulster Scots.


Status


Linguistic status

The majority of linguists treat Ulster Scots as a
variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
of the
Scots language Scots (endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is a ...
; Caroline Macafee, for example, writes that "Ulster Scots is ..clearly a dialect of Central Scots." The
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), translated in Irish Language, Irish as and in Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots as , was a devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. ...
considers Ulster Scots to be "the local variety of the Scots language." Some
linguists Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...
, such as Raymond Hickey, treat Ulster Scots (and other forms of Scots) as a
dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of Linguistics, linguistic phenomena: * One usage refers to a variety (linguis ...
of
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
. It has been said that its "status varies between dialect and language". Enthusiasts such as Philip Robinson (author of ''Ulster-Scots: a Grammar of the Traditional Written and Spoken Language''), the Ulster-Scots Language Society and supporters of an Ulster-Scots Academy are of the opinion that Ulster Scots is a language in its own right. That position has been criticised by the
Ulster-Scots Agency The Ulster-Scots Agency (''Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch'') is a cross- border body for Ireland which seeks to "promote the study, conservation and development of Ulster-Scots as a living language, to encourage and develop the full range of its atten ...
, a
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcasting, broadcaster in the world by ...

BBC
report stating: " he Agencyaccused the academy of wrongly promoting Ulster-Scots as a language distinct from Scots." This position is reflected in many of the Academic responses to the "Public Consultation on Proposals for an Ulster-Scots Academy"


Legal status

Ulster Scots is defined in an ''Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland establishing implementation bodies done at Dublin on the 8th day of March 1999'' in the following terms: The North/South Co-operation (Implementation Bodies) Northern Ireland Order 1999, which gave effect to the implementation bodies incorporated the text of the agreement in its Schedule 1. The declaration made by the British Government regarding the
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) is a European treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law ...
reads as follows: This recognition differed significantly from the commitments entered into under the Charter in relation to Irish, for which specific provisions under Part III were invoked for the protection and promotion of that language. The definition of Ullans from the North/South Co-operation (Implementation Bodies) Northern Ireland Order 1999 above was used on 1 July 2005 Second Periodical Report by the United Kingdom to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe outlining how the UK met its obligations under the Charter. The
Good Friday Agreement The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: or ), is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a po ...
(which does not refer to Ulster Scots as a "language") recognises Ulster Scots as ''"part of the cultural wealth of the island of Ireland"'', and the Implementation Agreement established the cross-border
Ulster-Scots Agency The Ulster-Scots Agency (''Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch'') is a cross- border body for Ireland which seeks to "promote the study, conservation and development of Ulster-Scots as a living language, to encourage and develop the full range of its atten ...
(''Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch''). The legislative remit laid down for the agency by the North/South Co-operation (Implementation Bodies) Northern Ireland Order 1999 is: "the promotion of greater awareness and the use of Ullans and of Ulster-Scots cultural issues, both within Northern Ireland and throughout the island". The agency has adopted a mission statement: ''to promote the study, conservation, development and use of Ulster Scots as a living language; to encourage and develop the full range of its attendant culture; and to promote an understanding of the history of the Ulster-Scots people.'' Despite the Agency's reference to Ulster Scots as "a language", this eliding of the distinction between Ulster Scots as a linguistic form, and "Ulster Scots culture" broadly referring to cultural forms associated with the Scottish-descended population, continued thereafter. The Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006 amended the
Northern Ireland Act 1998__NOTOC__ The Northern Ireland Act 1998 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a ...
to insert a section (28D) entitled ''Strategies relating to Irish language and Ulster Scots language etc.'' which inter alia laid on the Executive Committee a duty to "adopt a strategy setting out how it proposes to enhance and develop the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture." This reflects the wording used in the
St Andrews Agreement The St Andrews Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Chill Rímhinn; Ulster Scots: ''St Andra's 'Greement'', ''St Andrew's Greeance'' or ''St Andrae's Greeance'') is an agreement between the British and Irish governments and Northern Ireland North ...
to refer to the enhancement and development of "the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture". There is still controversy on the status of Ulster Scots.


History and literature

Scots, mainly
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...
-speaking, had been settling in
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
since the 15th century, but large numbers of Scots-speaking Lowlanders, some 200,000, arrived during the 17th century following the 1610
Plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil pa ...

Plantation
, with the peak reached during the 1690s.Montgomery & Gregg 1997: 572 In the core areas of Scots settlement, Scots outnumbered English settlers by five or six to one. Literature from shortly before the end of the unselfconscious tradition at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries is almost identical with contemporary writing from Scotland.Montgomery & Gregg 1997: 585 W. G. Lyttle, writing in ''Paddy McQuillan's Trip Tae Glesco'', uses the typically Scots forms ''kent'' and ''begood'', now replaced in Ulster by the more mainstream Anglic forms ''knew'', ''knowed'' or ''knawed'' and ''begun''. Many of the modest contemporary differences between Scots as spoken in Scotland and Ulster may be due to dialect levelling and influence from Mid Ulster English brought about through relatively recent demographic change rather than direct
contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contact can be formed during deposition, by the intrusion of magma, or through faulting ...
with Irish, retention of older features or separate development. The earliest identified writing in Scots in Ulster dates from 1571: a letter from Agnes Campbell of County Tyrone to on behalf of Turlough O'Neil, her husband. Although documents dating from the Plantation period show conservative Scots features, English forms started to predominate from the 1620s as Scots declined as a written medium.Corbett, John; McClure, J. Derrick & Stuart-Smith, Jane (eds.) (2003) ''The Edinburgh Companion to Scots'', Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press In Ulster Scots-speaking areas there was traditionally a considerable demand for the work of Scottish poets, often in locally printed editions. These include
Alexander Montgomerie Alexander Montgomerie (c. 1550?–1598) was a Scotland, Scottish Jacobean era, Jacobean courtier and poet, or makar, born in Ayrshire. He was one of the principal members of the Castalian Band, a circle of poets in the court of James I of En ...
's ''The Cherrie and the Slae'' in 1700; shortly over a decade later an edition of poems by Sir David Lindsay; nine printings of Allan Ramsay's ''The Gentle shepherd'' between 1743 and 1793; and an edition of
Robert Burns Robert Burns (25 January 175921 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire, the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phr ...

Robert Burns
' poetry in 1787, the same year as the Edinburgh edition, followed by reprints in 1789, 1793 and 1800. Among other Scottish poets published in Ulster were
James Hogg James Hogg (1770 – 21 November 1835) was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many o ...
and
Robert Tannahill File:Robert Tannahill as appearing on the Scott Monument.JPG, Robert Tannahill as appearing on the Scott Monument Robert Tannahill (June 3, 1774 – May 17, 1810) was a Scotland, Scottish poetry, poet of labouring class origin. Known as the 'Weav ...

Robert Tannahill
. That was complemented by a poetry revival and nascent prose genre in Ulster, which started around 1720.Robinson (2003) ''The historical presence of Ulster-Scots in Ireland'', in ''The Languages of Ireland'', ed. Cronin, Michael & Ó Cuilleanáin, Cormac; Dublin: Four Courts Press The most prominent of these was the '' rhyming weaver'' poetry, of which, some 60 to 70 volumes were published between 1750 and 1850, the peak being in the decades 1810 to 1840, although the first printed poetry (in the
Habbie stanzaThe Burns stanza is a verse form named after the Scottish poet Robert Burns The name Robert is an ancient Germanic given name, from Proto-Germanic "fame" and "bright" (Hrōþiberhtaz). Compare Old Dutch ''Robrecht'' and Old High German ''Hr ...
form) by an Ulster Scots writer was published in a
broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format Newspaper formats vary substantially, with different formats more common in different countries. The size of a newspaper format refers to the size of the paper page; the printed area within that ...
in Strabane in 1735. These weaver poets looked to Scotland for their cultural and literary models and were not simple imitators but clearly inheritors of the same literary tradition following the same poetic and orthographic practices; it is not always immediately possible to distinguish traditional Scots writing from Scotland and Ulster. Among the ''rhyming weavers'' were James Campbell (1758–1818), James Orr (1770–1816), Thomas Beggs (1749–1847), David Herbison (1800–1880),
Hugh Porter Hugh William Porter Order of the British Empire, MBE (born Wolverhampton, England, 27 January 1940) is one of United Kingdom, Britain's greatest former professional cyclists, winning four world titles in the individual pursuit - more than any ot ...
(1780–1839) and Andrew McKenzie (1780–1839). Scots was also used in the narrative by Ulster novelists such as W. G. Lyttle (1844–1896) and Archibald McIlroy (1860–1915). By the middle of the 19th century the '' Kailyard school'' of prose had become the dominant literary genre, overtaking poetry. This was a tradition shared with Scotland which continued into the early 20th century. Scots also frequently appeared in Ulster newspaper columns, especially in Antrim and Down, in the form of pseudonymous social commentary employing a folksy first-person style. The pseudonymous Bab M'Keen (probably successive members of the Weir family: John Weir, William Weir, and Jack Weir) provided comic commentaries in the ''Ballymena Observer and County Antrim Advertiser'' for over a hundred years from the 1880s. A somewhat diminished tradition of vernacular poetry survived into the 20th century in the work of poets such as Adam Lynn, author of the 1911 collection ''Random Rhymes frae Cullybackey'', John Stevenson (died 1932), writing as "Pat M'Carty", and John Clifford (1900–1983) from East Antrim. In the late 20th century the poetic tradition was revived, albeit often replacing the traditional
Modern Scots Modern Scots comprises the varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defin ...
orthographic practice with a series of contradictory
idiolect Idiolect is an individual's unique use of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Eu ...
s. Among the significant writers is
James Fenton James Martin Fenton (born 25 April 1949) is an English poet, journalist and literary critic. He is a former Oxford Professor of Poetry. Life and career Born in Lincoln, England, Lincoln, Fenton grew up in Lincolnshire and Staffordshire, the so ...
, mostly using a blank verse form, but also occasionally the Habbie stanza. He employs an orthography that presents the reader with the difficult combination of
eye dialect Eye dialect is the use of deliberately nonstandard spelling to emphasize how a word is being pronounced. The term was coined by George Philip Krapp George Philip Krapp (1872–1934) was a scholar of English. In 1897 Krapp joined the faculty of Col ...
, dense Scots, and a greater variety of verse forms than employed hitherto. The poet
Michael Longley Michael Longley, (born 27 July 1939, Belfast, Northern Ireland) is an Anglo-Irish poet. Life and career Michael Longley was born in Belfast to English parents, Longley was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and subsequently ...
(born 1939) has experimented with Ulster Scots for the translation of Classical verse, as in his 1995 collection ''The Ghost Orchid''. The writing of Philip Robinson (born 1946) has been described as verging on "
post-modern Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of skepticism Skepticism (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known a ...
kailyard".Ferguson, Frank, ed. (2008) ''Ulster-Scots Writing''. Dublin: Four Courts Press He has produced a trilogy of novels ''Wake the Tribe o Dan'' (1998), ''The Back Streets o the Claw'' (2000) and ''The Man frae the Ministry'' (2005), as well as story books for children ''Esther, Quaen o tha Ulidian Pechts'' and ''Fergus an tha Stane o Destinie'', and two volumes of poetry ''Alang the Shore'' (2005) and ''Oul Licht, New Licht'' (2009). A team in Belfast has begun translating portions of the Bible into Ulster Scots. The Gospel of Luke was published in 2009 by the Ullans Press. It is available in the YouVersion Bible Project.


Since the 1990s

In 1992 the Ulster-Scots Language Society was formed for the protection and promotion of Ulster Scots, which some of its members viewed as a language in its own right, encouraging use in speech, writing and in all areas of life. Within the terms of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages the British Government is obliged, among other things, to: *Facilitate and/or encourage of the use of Scots in speech and writing, in public and private life. *Provide appropriate forms and means for the teaching and study of the language at all appropriate stages. *Provide facilities enabling non-speakers living where the language is spoken to learn it if they so desire. *Promote study and research of the language at universities of equivalent institutions. The
Ulster-Scots Agency The Ulster-Scots Agency (''Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch'') is a cross- border body for Ireland which seeks to "promote the study, conservation and development of Ulster-Scots as a living language, to encourage and develop the full range of its atten ...
, funded by DCAL in conjunction with the
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media ( ga, An Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán) is a Department of State (Ireland), department of the Government of Ireland. The mission of t ...
, is responsible for promotion of greater awareness and use of Ullans and of Ulster-Scots cultural issues, both within Northern Ireland and throughout the island. The agency was established as a result of the
Belfast Agreement The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement ( ga, Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or ; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulste ...
of 1998. Its headquarters are on Great Victoria Street in central
Belfast Belfast ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest on the island of Ireland. It had a popul ...

Belfast
, while the agency has a major office in
Raphoe Raphoe ( ; ) is a historical town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is the main town in the fertile district of East Donegal known as the Laggan, as well as giving its name to the Barony of Raphoe, which was later divided into the baronies of Rapho ...

Raphoe
,
County Donegal County Donegal ( ; ga, Contae Dhún na nGall) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William ...
. In 2001 the Institute of Ulster Scots Studies was established at the
University of Ulster sco, Ulstèr Universitie , image = Ulster University coat of arms.png , caption = , motto_lang = , mottoeng = , latin_name = Universitas Ulidiae , established = 1865 – Magee College 1953 - Magee Un ...
. An Ulster Scots Academy has been planned with the aim of conserving, developing, and teaching the language of Ulster-Scots in association with native speakers to the highest academic standards. The 2010 documentary ''The Hamely Tongue'' by filmmaker Deaglán O Mocháin traces back the origins of this culture and language, and relates its manifestations in today's Ireland.


New orthographies

By the early 20th century the literary tradition was almost extinct, though some 'dialect' poetry continued to be written. Much revivalist Ulster Scots has appeared, for example as "official translations", since the 1990s. However, it has little in common with traditional Scots
orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions b ...
as described in Grant and Dixon's ''Manual of Modern Scots'' (1921). Aodán Mac Póilin, an
Irish language Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards and guidons, kinds of military signs * Heraldic flag, Standard (emblem), a type of a large symbol or emblem used for identification Norms, conventions or requ ...
activist, has described these revivalist orthographies as an attempt to make Ulster Scots an independent written language and to achieve official status. They seek "to be as different to English (and occasionally Scots) as possible". He described it as a hotchpotch of obsolete words,
neologism A neologism (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
s (example: ''stour-sucker'' for ''
vacuum cleaner A vacuum cleaner, also known simply as a vacuum or a hoover, is a device that causes suction in order to remove dirt from floors, upholstery, draperies, and other surfaces. It is generally electrically driven. The dirt is collected by either a d ...

vacuum cleaner
''), redundant spellings (example: ''qoho'' for ''who'') and "erratic spelling". This spelling "sometimes reflects everyday Ulster Scots speech rather than the conventions of either modern or historic Scots, and sometimes does not". The result, Mac Póilin writes, is "often incomprehensible to the native speaker". In 2000, John Kirk described the "net effect" of that "amalgam of traditional, surviving, revived, changed, and invented features" as an "artificial dialect". He added,
It is certainly not a written version of the vestigial spoken dialect of rural County Antrim, as its activists frequently urge, perpetrating the fallacy that it’s ''wor ain leid''. (Besides, the dialect revivalists claim not to be native speakers of the dialect themselves!). The colloquialness of this new dialect is deceptive, for it is neither spoken nor innate. Traditional dialect speakers find it counter-intuitive and false...Kirk, John M. (2000) "The New Written Scots Dialect in Present–day Northern Ireland" in Magnus Ljung (ed.) ''Language Structure and Variation''; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell; pp. 121–138.
In 2005, Gavin Falconer questioned officialdom's complicity, writing: "The readiness of Northern Ireland officialdom to consign taxpayers’ money to a black hole of translations incomprehensible to ordinary users is worrying". Recently produced teaching materials, have, on the other hand, been evaluated more positively.


Sample texts

The three text excerpts below illustrate how the traditional written form of Ulster Scots from the 18th to early 20th century was virtually indistinguishable from contemporary written Scots from Scotland.Falconer, G. ''The Scots Tradition in Ulster'', Scottish Studies Review, Vol. 7/2, 2006. p.94 ''The Muse Dismissed'' (
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1780–1839) :Be hush'd my Muse, ye ken the morn :Begins the shearing o' the corn, :Whar knuckles monie a risk maun run, :An' monie a trophy's lost an' won, :Whar sturdy boys wi' might and main :Shall camp, till wrists an' thumbs they strain, :While pithless, pantin' wi' the heat, :They bathe their weazen'd pelts in sweat :To gain a sprig o' fading fame, :Before they taste the dear-bought cream— :But bide ye there, my pens an' papers, :For I maun up, an' to my scrapers— :Yet, min', my lass— ye maun return :This very night we cut the churn. ''To M.H.'' (Barney Maglone 1820?–1875) :This wee thing's o' little value, ::But for a' that it may be :Guid eneuch to gar you, lassie, ::When you read it, think o' me. :Think o' whan we met and parted, ::And o' a' we felt atween— :Whiles sae gleesome, whiles doon-hearted— ::In yon cosy neuk at e'en. :Think o' when we dander't ::Doon by Bangor and the sea; :How yon simmer day, we wander't ::'Mang the fields o' Isle Magee. :Think o' yon day's gleefu' daffin' ::(Weel I wot ye mind it still) :Whan we had sic slips and lauchin', ::Spielin' daftly up Cave Hill. :Dinna let your e'en be greetin' ::Lassie, whan ye think o' me, :Think upo' anither meetin', ::Aiblins by a lanward sea. From ''The Lammas Fair'' (Robert Huddleston 1814–1889) :Tae sing the day, tae sing the fair, ::That birkies ca' the lammas; :In aul' Belfast, that toun sae rare, ::Fu' fain wad try't a gomas. :Tae think tae please a', it were vain, ::And for a country plain boy; :Therefore, tae please mysel' alane, ::Thus I began my ain way, :::::Tae sing that day. :Ae Monday morn on Autumn's verge ::To view a scene so gay, :I took my seat beside a hedge, ::To loiter by the way. :Lost Phoebus frae the clouds o' night, ::Ance mair did show his face— :Ance mair the Emerald Isle got light, ::Wi' beauty, joy, an' grace; ::::Fu' nice that day. The examples below illustrate how 21st century Ulster Scots texts seldom adhere to the previous literary tradition, ''Yer guide tae the cheenge-ower'', perhaps being a rare exception. Instead there has been an increase in the use of somewhat creative phonetic spellings based on the perceived sound-to-letter correspondences of
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, i.e. dialect writing, as exemplified in ''Alice's Carrànts in Wunnerlan'' or the adoption of a more esoteric "amalgam of traditional, surviving, revived, changed, and invented features" as exemplified in ''Hannlin Rede''. From ''Yer guide tae the cheenge-ower'' (digitaluk 2012) :Dae A need a new aerial? :Gin ye hae guid analogue reception the nou, ye'r like no tae need tae replace yer ruiftap or set-tap aerial for the cheenge-ower – thare nae sic thing as a 'deegital aerial'. But gin ye hae ill analogue reception the nou, ye’ll mebbe need tae replace it. :Find oot by gaun til the aerial-pruifer on Teletext page 284. Anither wey is tae wait until efter the cheenge-ower for tae see if yer pictur's affect. From '' Alice's Carrànts in Wunnerlan'' (Anne Morrison-Smyth, 2013) :The Caterpillar an Alice lukt at ither fur a quare while wi’oot taakin: finally the Caterpillar tuk the hookah oot o its mooth, an spoke tae hir in a languid, dozy voice. :“Wha ir yae?” said the Caterpillar. :This wusnae a pooerfu guid openin fur a yarn. Alice answert brev an baakwardly, “A—A harly know, Sir, jest at this minute—at least A know wha A wus this moarnin, but heth, A hae bin changed a wheen o times since thin.” :“What dae yae mean bae that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yersel!” :“A cannae explain maesel, A’m feart, Sir,” said Alice, “baecaas A’m naw maesel, yae see.” :“A dinnae see,” said the Caterpillar. :“A cannae mak it onie mair clear,” Alice answer, while polite, “fur A cannae unnerstan it maesel tae stairt wi; an baein sae monie different sizes in yin dae haes turnt mae heid.” From ''Hannlin Rede'' nnual report''2012–2013'' ( ''Männystèr o Fairms an Kintra Fordèrin'', 2012) :We hae cum guid speed wi fettlin tae brucellosis, an A'm mintin at bein haleheidit tae wun tae tha stannin o bein redd o brucellosis aathegither. Forbye, A'm leukkin tae see an ettlin in core at fettlin tae tha TB o Kye, takkin in complutherin anent a screengin ontak, tha wye we'll can pit owre an inlaik in ootlay sillert wi resydentèrs. Mair betoken, but, we'll be leukkin forbye tae uphaud an ingang airtit wi tha hannlins furtae redd ootcum disayses. An we'r fur stairtin in tae leukk bodes agane fur oor baste kenmairk gate, 'at owre tha nixt wheen o yeirs wull be tha ootcum o sillerin tae aboot £60m frae resydentèrs furtae uphaud tha hale hannlin adae wi beef an tha mïlk-hoose.


See also

*
Scots language Scots (endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is a ...
*
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
*
Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ulstèr-Scotch'', ga, Albanai ...
*
Unionism in Ireland Unionism in Ireland is a political tradition on the island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_i ...
—5:4 Defence of British-Unionist culture, 5.5 Ulster Scots and New Decade, New Approach *
Ulster Irish Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label= Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces, in the north of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an ...
*
Dictionary of the Scots Language The ''Dictionary of the Scots Language'' (DSL) ( sco, Dictionar o the Scots Leid, gd, Faclair de Chànan na Albais) is an online Scots-English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West G ...
*
History of the Scots language The history of the Scots language refers to how Anglic varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes ...
*
Languages of Ireland There are a number of languages used in Ireland. Since the late eighteenth century, English language in the Republic of Ireland, English has been the predominant first language, displacing Irish language, Irish. A large minority claims some abi ...
*
Languages in the United Kingdom English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, ...
*
Literature in the other languages of Britain In addition to English, literature has been written in a wide variety of other languages in Britain, that is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,U ...
* W.F. Marshall *
Mid-Ulster English Ulster English ( sco, label= Ulster Scots, Ulstèr Inglis, ga, Béarla Ulaidh, also called Northern Hiberno-English Hiberno-English (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic ...


References


External links


BBC Ulster-ScotsBBC A Kist o WurdsBBC Robin's ReadingsThe Ulster-Scots Language Society.Ulster-Scots Academy.Aw Ae Oo (Scots in Scotland and Ulster)
an
Aw Ae Wey (Written Scots in Scotland and Ulster)Listen to an Ulster Scots accent.
and compare with other accents from the UK and around the World.
Language, Identity and Politics in Northern Ireland.Public policy and Scots in Northern Ireland.Ulster Scots voices (BBC site)Ulster-Scots Online.Website promoting Ullans to the Gaelic community of Ireland.
{{DEFAULTSORT:Ulster Scots Dialects Languages of Ireland Languages of Northern Ireland Scots dialects +Dialects