Reminder: Ulster Scots

Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at
Wed Mar 31 21:24:11 CEST 2010

Michael Everson, Wed, 31 Mar 2010 18:56:25 +0100:
> Hands up, everyone, ulster or 2006ulst and why.

I think that 'ulster' and '2006ulst' sends different messages about the 
useful of 'sco' (without the subtag) for tagging Ulster Scots. Much of 
what you said indicate to me that 'ulster' is the right choice. But it 


'sco-2006ulst' indicates that the taggers - in general - should 
consider 'sco' as more than good enough. For example, the subtag '1996' 
for 'de' (de-1996) is mostly completely superfluous. Usually taggers 
won't use it. A number/year sends the message: "this is for experts".

Moral: a) Pick a year if you don't want users to pay too much attention 
to it. b) If the goal is to get as many taggers of Ulster Scots 
language resources to actually tag it as (some variant of) Ulster 
Scots, then you should go for 'sco-ulster'. 

If you go for 'sco-2006ulst' then you indicate (as I see it) that, by 
and large, it would be perfectly fine to use just 'sco' - only when you 
absolutely want to make clear that you use that dialect *and* that 
orthography, should you use '2006ulst'. 

So '2006ulst' more strongly put weight on the unity of the entire Scots 
language. Whereas 'sco-ulster' more emphasizes the usefulness of 
actually making clear that it is a Ulster Scots text.

Unless the registration speaks against it, then I imagine that 
'sco-ulster' would be fine for many text that predates the 2006 norm. 
So 'ulster' has a wider use. (Though, that could of course also be a 
problem - you might want to avoid that.)

If, on the other hand, there is quite many texts in Ulster Scots 
already (probably tagged as 'sco') and the Ulster Scots users 
themselves merely want to mark a shift/change in how they write the 
Scots language, then '2006ulst' seems better. 

But since you said that many institutions support this orthographic 
norm already, then I suppose that their message would be that one 
should use this subtag as often as possible, rather than simply tagging 
it as 'sco'. Though, OTOH, I don't know the least about how they think 

I myself prefer to focus on language unity (unity of dialects). And 
'2006ulst' seems like a fine tag to use if the attitude is that one 
should generally use 'sco', except when it is absolutely a must to to 
say that particular Scots text is an Ulster Scots text. Whereas 
'ulster' looks like a fine subtag to use "on a daily basis", so to 
leif halvard silli

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