The editors wish to record their gratitude to a small but select band who have assisted in the publication of this Denkschrift in honour of Professor Robert Gregg. We trust that each of them in their various ways shares our satisfaction with the completion of this monument to a tireless, exemplary scholar.
Work on this volume could not even have begun without the help of members of the Gregg family, who have exhibited a generosity of spirit similar to that of Professor Gregg himself. We greatly appreciate their support, and in particular that of Professor Gregg's widow, the late Mrs. Millicent Gregg, who, in her unassuming way, donated her late husband's scholarly materials to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. These have in course been heavily drawn upon for the present volume to display something of the genius of the man who was the pioneer of the academic study of Ulster-Scots.
We are also indebted to the late Brendan Adams (first Curator of Language at the museum), no less than to our contemporary authors whose patience and faith in waiting so long to see the fruits of their labours has been remarkable and deeply appreciated by the editors and, we trust, by all readers of this volume. When first organizing the collection of modern essays in 2000/01, we sought contributions from the most inclusive range of authors known to be working in the field. We regret that not all of them submitted essays for publication. In the preparation of the annotated bibliography included in this volume the editors are grateful to many individuals, too numerous to be named, for providing details on publications that ensured the compilation was as complete as possible.
Funding of such a specialist publication is always problematical, and we must thank Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch (The Ulster-Scots Agency) for their sponsorship and for their recognition that financial support for scholarly work on the subject of the Ulster-Scots language is part of their remit. Likewise, we record our appreciation for additional assistance with the publication from the recently-formed Ulster-Scots Academy Implementation Group, which wished to be identified with a publication it saw as foundational for the study of the language, and as an acknowledgement of the late Professor R. J. Gregg's role in establishing the concept of an Ulster-Scots Academy. We would also thank the management of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, now part of the National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, for continuing to build upon the early enthusiasm of such scholars as Gregg and Adams for the indigenous languages of the province by accommodating this volume within its publication programme and by bearing a share of the financial burden, mostly as a contribution 'in kind'. The concept of such a volume originated in 1999 with Dr. Philip Robinson while he was still Head of Collections Division at the museum.
We wish to thank Mr. Clifford Harkness, current Head of Archival Collections at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, for his assistance with the administrative aspect of this project. His suggestions and encouragement have been invaluable in bringing the volume to the print stage.
We have greatly appreciated the assistance of Mr. Peter Carson of the museum's Sound Archive, who with great good humour resolved many problems with the computer software.
Staff of the UFTM Library, too, have provided moral support, a quiet bolt-hole when needed, a spare modem for all the transatlantic emails and assistance with elusive references. For these, our thanks go to Mr. Roger Dixon, Librarian, and to his assistant, Mrs. Sally Skilling, now retired.
The production of any publication using phonetics is heavily dependent on specialist software, and Professor Gregg's phonetic notation was often not standard IPA. Thanks are due to the supplier, Linguist's Software, Inc., particularly for their prompt technical support in the early stages of navigation around the character sets.
We are also most grateful to our cartographer, Gill Alexander, for her skilful work on the maps, and her pleasant and accommodating manner. Eun Hee Lee, graduate student of Linguistics at the University of Carolina, provided valuable assistance in compiling the phonetics key.
Lastly, but only chronologically, we should like to thank David Redmond of Page Setup for his work on typesetting the volume, turning it into a visually attractive publication, and Bryan McCabe of W&G Baird Ltd., the printer, particularly for refusing to be beaten by the unusual symbols and persisting until he found a way to reproduce them with a high degree of accuracy.
No one involved with this publication, especially we the editors, foresaw or could have imagined the rivers ahead to be forded, the perseverance to be required or the countless email attachments to be exchanged. We have done our best, aware always of Robert Gregg's high standards. Finally like Dr. Johnson's Arcadians, we have resolved no longer to chase the sun in the quest for perfection, but to send this volume, the last of Gregg's scholarly children, out into the world.