Reminder: Ulster Scots

Randy Presuhn randy_presuhn at
Wed Mar 31 19:34:37 CEST 2010

Hi -

> From: "Doug Ewell" <doug at>
> To: <ietf-languages at>
> Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 9:11 AM
> Subject: Re: Reminder: Ulster Scots
> Michael's statement that the Hamely Tongue orthography is "the current
> orthography used for Ulster Scots" is important.  It implies that the
> dialect and orthography, at least today, can be represented by a single
> language tag, in much the same way that the wide variety of differences
> between U.S. English and British English (spelling, pronunciation,
> vocabulary, singular/plural conventions, etc.) can be represented by
> contrasting "en-US" and "en-GB".
> Accordingly, I suggest we reconsider 'ulster' and think about recasting
> its description to cover the dialect as well as the orthography.

I think the existence of two distinct orthographies (Hamely Tongue and
the one under consideration) for a distinct variety of the language
makes a strong case for using separate variant subtags to identify
the language variety and the orthography.

Consider the use cases:
  - material in the Ulster Scots dialect, regardless of orthography
    (this would also be needed for spoken material)
  - material in the Ulster Scots dialect in Hamely Tongue orthography
  - material in the Ulster Scots dialect in the "new" orthography

Someone familiar with these languages might address these possibilities:
  - material in Scots (or some dialect of Scots) in Hamely Tongue orthography
  - material in Scots (other than Ulster dialect) in the "new" orthography

Combining the language variety with the orthography unneccessarily complicates
handling of spoken material.


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