Reminder: Ulster Scots

Phillips, Addison addison at
Wed Mar 31 16:55:57 CEST 2010

> >>> 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.

Huh? I think quite the reverse. Peter is stating explicitly that we cannot guess the stability of something published a scant four years ago, whereas we have a pretty reasonable idea of the "stability" of something published 400 years ago. I agree with Doug that the year 2006 doesn't appear to have any particular intrinsic meaning to this orthography or its users.

I'm not a big fan, personally, of dated subtags. They are non-mnemonic, unattractive, and could be misleading (things published in 1603 might use the 1606 orthography). It is just as possible that a new wordlist gets published (next year or ninety years from now) and it still be considered the same orthography (new words are created all the time) and thus still "2006ulst" even though there exists, say, a 2010 revision thereof.

If a date is reasonable and meaningful for a given orthography, I'm all for it. But this case doesn't *necessarily* fit.

> >
> > 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.

Is it necessary to distinguish between Ulster Scots and its orthography? That is, is the description in The Hamely Tongue a subdivision of Ulster Scots? Or is it just an attempt at regularizing/documenting what already exists? And is that the more important distinction to identify? If you were to register "ulster" to mean the dialect, then you could register a variant for the orthography (sco-ulster-hamely ??)


Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect -- Lab126

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture.

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