Reminder: Ulster Scots

Michael Everson everson at
Wed Mar 31 10:18:30 CEST 2010

On 31 Mar 2010, at 04:35, Peter Constable wrote:

>>> The difference is that we know there weren't frequent updates at 2, 7, 4, 12... year intervals after the 1606 and 1694 publications. In the Ulster case, if another doc is published in 2012 with minor tweaks, are we going to register 2012ulst?
>> What if another doc is not published until 2042? 
> The key issue is that we know that the 1606 and 1694 have a pretty high level of stability; it's rather less clear what the stability of something published just recently will be.

Sorry, Peter; you are still crystal-ball gazing. We cannot predict whether the present orthography will be stable for decades or generations, or whether it will be modified next year.

I think the latter is unlikely.

>>> Is this only for the orthography, or also for the dialect ("Ullans")?
>> Please explain what you mean more fully. I gather you are looking for a specific sort of answer, as the question seems to imply tacit assumptions on your part.
> Someone else already provided an adequate reply,

Nobody could have replied expressing your own thinking but you. 

> which was why I didn't bother, but I don't mind doing so:
> You are requesting a subtag to capture a particular orthographic distinction.

Correct. Presently there are two new translations of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" being prepared. One is in Scots, and uses traditional Scots orthography (which has some variation in it to be sure). The other is in Ulster Scots, and uses the orthography in The Hamely Tongue.

> But there is also a dialectal distinction between Ulster Scots ("Ullans") and other Scots varieties that is going to be of interest for some users.

Sure. Ulster Scots is in origin a dialect of Central Scots (and earlier literature uses that orthography). For good or for ill, it now has official support (is mentioned in the Good Friday Agreement for instance) and its own unique orthography. 

> The subtag you originally requested, "ulster", would be vague and create ambiguity between the two kinds of distinctions: one user might assume it referred to a dialectal distinction while another might assume it refers to an orthographic distinction. That could lead to problems of inconsistency in practice and issues with interoperability.

Hence 2006ulst.

Michael Everson *

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