The Ulster-Scots Dialect Boundaries in the Province of Ulster*

Robert J. Gregg


(1) Henry, P. L., 'A Linguistic Survey of Ireland', Lochlann: A Review of Celtic Studies 1 (1958).

(2) Orton, H., and W. J. Halliday (eds.), Survey of English Dialects Vol. I The Six Northern Counties and the Isle of Man (Leeds, 1962).

(3) Marshall, W. F., Ulster Sails West (Belfast, 1941), 31.

(4) A survey of this Ottawa Valley dialect was begun in 1975 under the direction of Dr. Ian Pringle and Dr. Enoch Padolsky, both of Carleton University, Ottawa. The present writer is acting as a consultant, with the specific purpose of identifying features of Ulster origin in the speech of the informants.

(5) Gregg, Robert J., 'Notes on the Phonology of a County Antrim Scotch-Irish Dialect, Part 1: Synchronic', Orbis 7 (1958), 392-406; Gregg, Robert J., 'Notes on the Phonology of a County Antrim Scotch-Irish Dialect, Part 2: Diachronic', Orbis 8 (1959) 400-424.

(6) Gregg, Robert J., 'Scotch-Irish Urban Speech in Ulster', in Adams, G. Brendan (ed.), Ulster Dialects: An Introductory Symposium (Holywood, 1964), 163 - 192.

(7) Grant, William, 'Introduction', Scottish National Dictionary, volume 1 (1931), xxxvi, xxxviii.

(8) As pointed out by Mr. Trevor Hill, a member of the LSS at the time in question (1961), the opposite holds good for Ayrshire.

(9) [See endnote 7.]

(10) Joseph S. Wright (English Dialect Grammar, Oxford, 1905) cites the form /jō/ for es. Yks., Lin., Lei., w. and s. Wor., n. Wor., Glo., e. Oxf., n. and m. Buck., n. Ken., s. Sur., Sus., I.W., Dor., w. and s. Som., e. Dev. This form /jō/ is also widespread in E. Canada, specifically in Ontario. A letter of inquiry published in 1962 in the Beeston Gazette and Echo elicited five replies, all of which confirmed /jō/ (to rhyme with 'Joe') in local use at places such as Ripley and Matlock in Derbyshire; at Fenton in the Potteries near Stoke-on-Trent; at Eastwood and Carrington near Nottingham; at Rainworth and Mansfield in n. Notts.; at Immingham near Grimsby in Lincs. The form /θō/ appears in Wright for se. Nhb., ne. and es. Yks., em., sm., sw., ms. and s. Lan., s. Chs., n. and nw. Der., n. and w. Lin., Cmb., Nrf., c. Dor. It also survives at Fenton and Eastwood, (v.s.). The forms /strō/ and /sθrō/ in Wright are given for sw. Nhb., ms. Lan., se. Yks., em. Lan. It also survives at Fenton and Eastwood, (v.s.).

(11) Gregg, op. cit. (1964), 186-189.

(12) Moody, T. W., The Londonderry Plantation, 1609-1641 (Belfast, 1939); Phillips, T., Londonderry and the London Companies (Belfast, 1928).

(13) Pearson, A. F. Scott, 'Puritan and Presbyterian Settlements in Ireland 1560-1660' (Larmor thesis, unpublished three-volume typescript on deposit at the Presbyterian Historical Society, Belfast).

(14) Marshall, op. cit.

(15) Hume, Abraham, Remarks on the Irish Dialect of the English Language (Liverpool, 1878).

(16) Does be here reflects the Irish Gaelic bíonn, the consuetudinal present tense of the verb bheith 'to be'.

(17) The interference of Gaelic in the English of informant Mrs. Gaynor (originally of Magheraneany) was very apparent. The interview with her was unfortunately incomplete.

(18) For a full account of these diphthongs, see Gregg, Robert J., op. cit. (1964); Gregg, Robert J., 'The Distribution of Raised and Lowered Diphthongs as Reflexes of ME ī in two Scotch-Irish Dialects', Phonologica (1975); Gregg, Robert J., 'The Diphthongs [əi] and [ɑɪ] in Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and Canadian English', Canadian Journal of Linguistics 18 (1973), 136-145.

(19) Maps (in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum), compiled by G. Brendan Adams and based on the 1911 census figures for Gaelic speech, show a Gaelic-speaking 'corridor' linking the Glens of Antrim Gaeltacht with the Sperrins Gaeltacht. Such a corridor, stronger in earlier times, must have acted as a barrier between the Scots settlers in N. Antrim and those in central and S. Antrim.

(20) A sample of this dialect — often quoted locally — is as follows: 'Gi'e yer haan's a rib in the tib an' come in for a kip o' tae'.

(21) Adams, G. Brendan, 'An Introduction to the Study of Ulster Dialects', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 52C1 (1948), 22 ff.

(22) See many of the maps on which this overflow of Ulster-Scots forms down the eastern side of the tip of the peninsula is a very marked feature, especially with D43 and D44.

(23) See map in Dami, Aldo, Frontières Europèennes de 1900 à 1975: Histoire Territoriale de l'Europe (Geneva, 1976).

(24) Gregg, Robert J., op. cit. (1958, 1959).

(25) The verb thrive is actually a test case. For some speakers it is weak, and they pronounce it [θrɑev]!

(26) Gregg, Robert J., op. cit. (1958).

(27) See studies on Donegal Gaelic: Quiggin, E.C., A Dialect of Donegal (Cambridge, 1906); Sommerfelt, Alf, 'South Armagh Irish', Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap 2 (1929); Evans, Emrys, 'Some East Ulster Features in Inishowen Irish', Studia Celtica 4 (1969); Evans, Emrys, 'The Irish Dialect of Urris, Inishowen, Co. Donegal', Lochlann 4 (1970). Compare these to studies of Antrim Gaelic such as Holmer, Nils, On Some Relics of the Irish Dialect Spoken in the Glens of Antrim (Uppsala, 1940); Holmer, Nils, The Irish Language in Rathlin Island. Co. Antrim (Dublin, 1942), 7-8, 25.

(28) Hart, H. C., 'Notes on the Ulster Dialect, Chiefly Donegal', Transactions of the Philological Society (London, 1899).

(29) Swan, H., Twixt Foyle and Swilly (Dublin, 1949).

(30) Traynor, M., The English Dialect of Donegal. A Glossary (Dublin, 1953).

(31) Cp. the isogloss for DAUGHTER with that for sheugh.

(32) Dialect word-forms are printed in lower case.

(33) Dialect word-forms are printed in the lower case.

(34) See Dieth, E., The Buchan Dialect, p. 9, Note 2.

(35) Reported in 1963 by Mr. Trevor Hill, at that time on the staff of the LSS.

(36) The latter form may reflect interference from the Irish Gaelic amháin, phonetically [əˈwɑ:n].

(37) See note 8 above.

* Ph.D. thesis presented to University of Edinburgh (1963); published (Ottawa: Canadian Federation for the Humanities, 1985), 1-59.

Introduction | Historical and Geographical Factors | Lexical Questionnaire | Phonological Questionnaire | Discussion | Notes