Reminder: Ulster Scots

Michael Everson everson at
Wed Mar 31 17:27:36 CEST 2010

On 31 Mar 2010, at 15:55, Phillips, Addison wrote:

> 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.

It refers to a particular specification which *is* being used to spell Ulster Scots now. If they come up with a different orthography, then that will be defined in a *different* publication.

> 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.

It is "just as possible". 

>> 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.
> Is it necessary to distinguish between Ulster Scots and its orthography?

It is necessary to distinguish Ulster Scots orthography from Scots orthography.

> That is, is the description in The Hamely Tongue a subdivision of Ulster Scots?

It is the current orthography used for Ulster Scots. This is supported by a range of *institutions* in Northern Ireland. 

> Or is it just an attempt at regularizing/documenting what already exists?

Previously in the 20th century Ulster Scots writing was more or less ad-hoc. In earlier centuries Scots orthography was used.

> 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 ??)

As opposed to sco-ulster- What?

Michael Everson *

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