Ulster Scots Dialects

Ulster Scots Dialects

Ulster Scots or Ulster-Scots (Ulstèr-Scotch) generally refers to the dialects of the Scots language spoken in parts of Ulster in Ireland. Some definitions of Ulster Scots may also include Standard English spoken with an Ulster Scots accent. This is a situation like that of Lowland Scots and Scottish Standard English – where lexical items have been re-allocated to the phoneme classes that are nearest to the equivalent standard classes. Ulster Scots has been influenced by Hiberno-English, particularly Mid Ulster English, and by Ulster Irish. Ulster Scots has also influenced Mid Ulster English, which is the dialect of most people in Ulster. As a result of the competing influences of English and Scots, varieties of Ulster Scots can be described as 'more English' or 'more Scots'.

The Scots language was brought to Ulster during the early 17th century, when large numbers of Scots speakers arrived from Scotland during the Hamilton and Montgomery Settlements and the Ulster Plantation. The earliest Scots writing in Ulster dates from that time, and until the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, written Scots from Ulster was almost identical with that of Scotland. However, since the revival of interest in the Ulster dialects of Scots in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, new orthographies have been created, which, according to Irish language activist Aodán Mac Póilin, seek "to be as different to English (and occasionally Scots) as possible."

It has been claimed that the recent "Ulster-Scots language and heritage cause has been set rolling only out of a sense of cultural rivalry among some Protestants and unionists, keen to counter-balance the onward march of the Irish language movement."

Read more about Ulster Scots DialectsNames, Speaker Population and Spread, Status, History and Literature

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