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BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?

GUEST,divilthebit 26 Oct 02 - 06:47 AM
John MacKenzie 26 Oct 02 - 08:56 AM
artbrooks 26 Oct 02 - 09:17 AM
belfast 26 Oct 02 - 09:30 AM
katlaughing 26 Oct 02 - 09:48 AM
mack/misophist 26 Oct 02 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Guest 26 Oct 02 - 02:41 PM
GUEST 26 Oct 02 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Guest 26 Oct 02 - 04:31 PM
The Pooka 26 Oct 02 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Donal 26 Oct 02 - 10:01 PM
alison 27 Oct 02 - 04:37 AM
The Pooka 27 Oct 02 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Philippa 27 Oct 02 - 06:04 AM
The Pooka 27 Oct 02 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 27 Oct 02 - 07:02 AM
belfast 27 Oct 02 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,allen woodpecker 27 Oct 02 - 09:18 AM
belfast 27 Oct 02 - 11:03 AM
dermod in salisbury 27 Oct 02 - 11:11 AM
The Pooka 27 Oct 02 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Plonker 27 Oct 02 - 12:14 PM
The Pooka 27 Oct 02 - 12:34 PM
belfast 27 Oct 02 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,allen woodpecker 27 Oct 02 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Donal 27 Oct 02 - 10:43 PM
Gurney 28 Oct 02 - 03:48 AM
Hrothgar 01 Nov 02 - 02:37 AM
Bagpuss 01 Nov 02 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhaca 01 Nov 02 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhaca 01 Nov 02 - 06:35 AM
Bagpuss 01 Nov 02 - 06:41 AM
Mr Happy 01 Nov 02 - 06:46 AM
greg stephens 01 Nov 02 - 07:09 AM
Mr Happy 01 Nov 02 - 07:11 AM
greg stephens 01 Nov 02 - 07:21 AM
Bagpuss 01 Nov 02 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 01 Nov 02 - 03:37 PM
greg stephens 01 Nov 02 - 04:48 PM
Snuffy 01 Nov 02 - 05:59 PM

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Subject: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,divilthebit
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 06:47 AM

I am from the north of Ireland. Please don't go, read on I'm not about to spout politix! We have a plethora of accents and dialects but recently one has grabbed the headlines, Ulster Scots. This as far as I can make out is a variation of English with words common to lowland Scotland and northern Ireland. THe 'speakers' insist on calling it a language in its own rite but I don't accept that it is. Unfortunately it has been hijacked by the protestant side of the community and such is N Ireland alienating the other half. Does this happen ANYWHERE else in the world with any other so called language?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 08:56 AM

I think that the origin of the Ulster Scots speak is from the Scottish protestants who settled there. They fled Scotland because of religious persecution, and in the light of this, it is hardly surprising that it remains a sectarian issue. I have heard the immigrants from this area described as Scots Irish in the USA, so the history is obviously quite long, and fairly widespread.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: artbrooks
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 09:17 AM

I'm not sure about regional dialects being "hijacked" by one religious or ethnic group or another, but a similar situation has happened in the broadcast industry. The dialect of English heard on TV and radio newsx programs in the States was originally from the Lower Midwest region, around the Great Lakes...but the dialect heard on sitcoms is pure Southern California. I think a similar thing occurred with "BBC English", but I'm not sure where that accent originated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: belfast
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 09:30 AM

The idea that "Ulster Scots" is a language rather than a dialect of English is an entertaining one and should be accepted as such. There is little enough to entertain us these days. Unfortunately some of my friends with Unionist sympathies seem to think that the whole think was invented to make them look like idiots. It is very unkind of people to approach them with remarks like these, "You know this language of yours, I'd love to study it. Would there be any great novels written in that language? Would there be any books at all? Has anybody ever translated the Bible into Ulster Scots?"   Jokes like this cause my friends to squirm and frantically disassociate themselves from the whole sorry business.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 09:48 AM

There are some very good links in this recent thread, which our dear departed little john cameron started earlier this year. Please click for: The Other Irish

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 09:52 AM

The difference between a language and a dialect is quite straighforeward. If you can understand the other person at all, it's a dialect; if not, it's a language. Any one who says otherwise has a private agenda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 02:41 PM

Ulster Scots is a dialect, its current highish profile is a reaction to pushy Irish/Gaelic by pushy republican/nationalists.

So much for not spouting "politix"!

Great novels? try "Betsy Gray, or, Hearts of Down" by W.G.Lyttle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 03:30 PM

Guest, GGGGUEST, Betsy Gray begins in the northern dialect but by Chapter 2 it reverts to English -English. A good read, pity the Loyalists wrecked the old headstone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 04:31 PM

Pity the nationalists overplayed the old headstone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: The Pooka
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 04:35 PM

When one man's Tongue nae mair proclaims another yer-man Cheeky, we will have made progress. Thanks for the ljc links kat. May he speak no ill of us in Heaven, else we're all in big trouble. While it is surely a valid & interesting question intellectually, still we the untutored as well as thou the lettered can love to hear the Ulster Scots & the gaeltacht Irish both, regardless of what we decide to call 'em. Language, dialect, politix, poetix, it's still rock 'n roll to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 10:01 PM

The linguist's technical definition of the difference
    between a language and a dialect;

          'A language is a dialect with an army and a navy'
                                                                                           D O'C


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: alison
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 04:37 AM

and for those of you who'd like to learn to speak it... try The Ludicrous Orange Teach yourself Ulster Scots page..... *grin*


slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: The Pooka
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 05:59 AM

Donal - ha HA! Excellent.

alison yer the divil - hee HEE! "*grin*" indeed! Funny. / Now, when we reach the point where we all can laugh, in good spirit and without rancor or offense, both at ourselves *and at each other too* --- well, then Peace will have come. / Hasten the day. But, don't hold your breath.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 06:04 AM

although the site is amusing, it is hardly without rancour or offense ... at times verges on the racist, for want of a better term


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: The Pooka
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 06:16 AM

Philippa - well, yeah. That was my point; or part of it. Funny; but mean. Satire, but with a hard-edged ethno-political Agenda. / As, YESSSSS I knowIknow, bold fenian 'Cats 'n Guests before yez come-all-ye paratroopin' in upon me, there is plenty such on The Other Side as well. / What I long for, in my starry-eyed gnosticism, is the humor to remain, un-meanly, after the bloody Sides are gone. / My oul' da' God rest him always called himself a Pollyanna. I guess the mantle descends.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 07:02 AM

Aah, g`wan Phillipa, sure that is the most beautifully lucid tones of a Belfast twang, yeh ivir heerd, shure us oul country-men have bliddy trouble makkin it out.
So any Mudcatter from further afield than sunny Belfast, wd don`t all talk like this, we are a wee bit bliddy broader in tone. Nice one Alison Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: belfast
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 08:16 AM

I speak with the accents of the Belfast working class and my day-to-day speech is littered with words either indigenous or brought over from Scotland. Last night, for example, I had a clatter of pints and will be doing the same for a wheen o' days. Now some people may tell me that I am speaking Ulster-Scots. To me it feels like English. When I attempt a few pages of Albert Camus I know I am reading a foreign language. When I read the the novels of Jane Austen or Dickens I know that I reading the same language that I speak and think in. It's called English.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,allen woodpecker
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 09:18 AM

I hate to be a pedant (well actually I don't, I just hate to be appear to be one) but I agree with Ard Mhacha. People from Belfast speak a certain way, but there are different dialectical expressions in use in relatively small areas. In north Antrim, for instance, we use expressions that would be unknown in south antrim or even east Derry, so the native language in norn iron is just the same as in any other place - hugely varied locally. Unfortunately, due to the monstrous centralisation of ALL life into Belfast, outsiders think we all sound like city types. Be assured we do not (nae harm to Belfast, the catter not the place). Our native tongue may not be pretty, but it is real, and life would be the worse if received pronunciation became the norm. Imagine if we all spoke like UTV presenters - jesus preserve us! I should add that I've been in Scotland for many years, but have made a conscientious decision not to lose my accent as it helps to define what I am.
Just as a brief illustration, people from Coleraine take the piss out of people from Ballymoney because they "talk funny" - the two towns are about 12 miles apart. Just goes to show....

Now people from Derry, they DO talk funny (heh, heh)
a.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: belfast
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 11:03 AM

"allen woodpecker" is, of course, quite right. It amazes me sometimes that a journey of only a few miles up the coast brings such changes of accent. (But it's well worth the journey into Antrim to listen the wonderful tones of John Kennedy, singer, story teller and musician extraordinaire. This is a man who has trained Orange marching bands, been received joyfully at many a fleadh and made welcome on the New Lodge Road in Belfast.) But even in Belfast there's plenty of variations in accent. I have heard or read somewhere that in Russia you can travel for many hundreds of miles without detecting any noticeable variation in accent. Such a thing seems so unlikely from the perspective of these islands.

And allen woodpecker has really struck through to the heart of this question. They really do talk wild funny up in Derry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 11:11 AM

The Ulster accent is obviously distinct from other parts of Ireland. Although you could say that about the Dublin accent, or perhaps many other parts of the country. Interestingly, the dialect of Gaelic originally spoken in Ulster was also a clear variant from other dialects, now considered as 'standard'. None of this is surprising. If you stand on a north Antrim beach, you can look at the Scottish coast. But you are a long way from Cork. Now that English is the ordinary language of Ulster, it also not suprising that it has strong affinities with English spoken in Scotland. It may be that is a lot to do with farm labour migration. But I am staying right out of the the political dimension of dialect which asserts that Northern Ireland was never really close to the rest of Ireland, or indeed that the term Scot originally referred to the Irish.   The bottom line is that the Ulster dialect is often a delight to listen to. The little paperback books published by the late John Pepper, (aka Freddy Gamble of the Belfast Telegraph) including the Ulster Phrasebook and the Ulster-English dicitonary, are a hoot to read. Thoroughly recommended and not an iota of politics in them.

Best wishes - Dermod.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: The Pooka
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 11:55 AM

Thanks a.w. & belfast & dermod! Fascinating; and alluring. / Dammitall here I've visited Eire 3 times in my youthful 54 years and *I've never been to the North!* Bloody idjit, sez I to me. Twice was with the Wife & she was nervous about the Border and beyond. Next time, she sees old Derry's Walls and hears their wild funny talk, or she stays to home. :)

I want to hear this lovely cheek-by-jowl range of speech, or speeches. And, I'd like to hear that John Kennedy. From the description, he sounds like Da Man, for sure.

allen w. - "...outsiders think we all sound like city types." Well, perhaps that's somewhat a pan-national misperception, or sterotype. Sometimes I get the impression that people from other lands think we in the U.S. (Amurr'c'ns) all talk like New Yorkers (Nyeww Yawkuhs). / Or, Texans, God help us. :) btw don't worry about sounding pedantic; you don't. Even if you did, pedantry is no crime. Well, except in Texas. Their legislature thought it wuz wunna them there preeversions.

Ducking & Running from the Texas 'Catters,
- the Pook


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Plonker
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 12:14 PM

While people are happy to kill each other over such irrelevances it is no joke. If the great USofA were to recognise the damage it has assisted in helping the terrorists who have plagued Ireland & the UK perhaps your war against the rest of the world would at least be understood if not accepted


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: The Pooka
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 12:34 PM

Plonker, we do recognize it, and have cracked down on it. Various NI groups & fronts, both sides, are on the Feds' contributions-banned terrorist-organization list here. More needs to be done, yes. But people are, albeit too slowly, getting educated. // And, plenty of folks here are vocally opposing our Wars. // Look, I didn't mean to start something. I was just feeling admiration for Ulstermen & Ulsterwomen; and also trying to be humorous & self-deprecating re language in my own country. (Which I do of course love, as most people love theirs.) Let's all try to keep **this** thread linguistic/dialectical, reasonably a-political, & peaceful, OK?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: belfast
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 01:22 PM

As regards John Kennedy I did a search for other threads. Most of them seemed to be about an American president. This one is about the real John Kennedy. CLICK HERE Believe me, this man is worth his weight in gold.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,allen woodpecker
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 04:48 PM

Fascinating stuff, you guys. John Kennedy is from Cullybackey, which is quite near Ballymena, and not far from where I was raised. Here's an example of a joke in Ulster "Scots".
Q. What is the definition of "passion"?
A. Heavy rain in Cullybackey.

An interesting point about north antrim dialect. while we lengthen vowel sounds we also talk abnormally fast - or at least my mother's family do. Surprised nobody from Derry has been on to stand up for themselves yet.....
a.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 10:43 PM

I grew up in North Antrim during WWII, we didn't see
    ourselves as particularly poor, but we had no radio,
    and of course no T.V. and apart from infrequent visits
    to the cinema we had no exposure to other accents.
    The first time that I met someone from Cork, at the
    opposite end of Ireland, he might as well have been
    speaking Swahili for all that I could understand. When
    I went to work in England I had a terrible time getting
    people to understand ME, it took quite a few years to
    rub off the rough edges of my speech, not that I was
    ashamed of it , but you need to be able to communicate.
    And yes, 'Darry' people do speak funny.
                                                                                  D O'C


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Oct 02 - 03:48 AM

EVERYONE speaks English with an accent, and some of the accents are nearly unintelligible. Try Arbroath, Newcastle, The Black Country, or the way Kiwis and Londoners can't pronounce the vowels.
Most people seem to think it is everyone else who has the accent!
I prefer everyone's accent to my own Midlands slur.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 02:37 AM

For a Belfast accent, i thought you just spoke Glasgow Scots with a rubber band around your tongue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 05:17 AM

The difference between a language and a dialect has as much to do with borders as it does the size of the difference or whether they are mutually intelligible. For example the Scandinavian languages are mutually intelligible, but defined as different languages since they belong to different countries. There is apparently less difference between Swedish, Norwegian and Danish than there is between Geordie, Brunnie and Norfolk accent/dialects for example. However they are considered all variations on the same language. Because of this, it is common to claim that you particular way of speaking is a language rather than a dialect when you want to (eg for political reasons) emphasise the seperateness of your community from the community of the *other* language. Hence Scottish nationalists would claim that Scots is a separate language from English rather than a dialect of English and point to its different routes of development. That's why it seems a little unusual that a presumably mainly Loyalist (?) group would want to *elevate* the status of Ulster Scots to that of a language. Perhaps it is because of their Scottish heritage and links. I know many Scottish protestants who are fiercely nationalistic with regards to Scotland, but definitely Loyalist in their sympathies regarding Norn Iron.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Ard Mhaca
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 06:27 AM

Gurney, you are dead on, I worked from one end of England to the other and if ulster-scots is a language so is every Geordie, Scouser, Swede-basher, Cockney, Brummie,and Yorky, speaking a language that the stranger dosen`t know. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Ard Mhaca
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 06:35 AM

By a strane twist of fate[as they say in Bangor], I was ploughing through a clatter of music Videos about a half-hour ago when I came across the far-famed John Kennedy, he was "singing" "The Cloughmills factory girl" and John`s wide grin throughout the song gave the impression "dont take this singing serious, i`m only acting the cod".
An acquired taste it certainly is, he makes some Sean-nos singers sound like Pavarotti.Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 06:41 AM

I found an interesting article here about language and dialect particularly as it relates to Scots. It brings Ulster Scots into the discussion towars the end. Personally I consider Ulster Scots a dialect, but a dialect of Scots rather than English....


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 06:46 AM

bushmills


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 07:09 AM

The trouble with these arguments to the non-linguist person-in-the -street is what do you do about border areas. Bagpuss above takes the line that Scots and English are different languages,for example. OK'let's accept that, but what does that mean in say Gretna and Rockcliffe( two villages close to each other each side of the Scottish English border). To the untutored person having a pint in Gretna and then popping across for the other half in Rockcliffe, it is commonsense that the people in the two pubs are speaking the same language.
   So, if Scots and English are different languages, what language is being spoken in the pubs concerned? Border Sconglish? And if this a real third language, what are they speaking in Carlisle 5 miles further into England, or Ecclefechan ditto Scotland. And so on and so on.
To me this is no problem, I think English and Scots are the same language with different names . But if you think they are different languages you have to be able to answer these questions satisfactorily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 07:11 AM

in pubs wherever people often speak in tongues!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 07:21 AM

In my previous post, by the way, let me add(to avoid controversy): I don't say that my objections aren't answerable. They are. I only say you've got to be able to answer them, in order to maintain that Scots and English are separate languages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 07:27 AM

Greg - thats the trouble in defining what a language is. By your reckoning, there would be pretty much no such thing as a language at all. If you read the article I posted, you will see it talks about the geographical continuum whereby if you travel from village to village each way of speaking is mutually intelligible and fairly similar to its neighbour even when crossing borders, but if you compare the first village to the last village, they are mutually intelligible and often separate languages - eg german to dutch; spanish to catalan to certain french dialects I forget the name of, to *standard* french. And I don't think anyone would say that French and Spanish are dialects of the same language. And Scots and English were considered different languages before the countries were unified. Ultimately the word language is not really a linguistic classification but more a political and geographical one which is often fairly arbitrary. But it's a classification it suits us to use, so it will alway be a matter of personal opinion to some extent.

It's a similar confusion to the idea of species as groups of animals that cannot interbreed producing viable offspring. I forget the example I was taught, but it was a bird which varied genetically over it's geographical area. At the two extremes, the birds could not interbreed, but if you go along the continuum, each group of birds could interbreed with it's neighbour. Its all a problem of trying to classify something that varies continuously rather than discretely.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 03:37 PM

Bagpuss, I can tell you that accents change over a very short distance, would you believe around two miles.
I went to a country school about two miles from the edge of the my home Town in Ireland, and I was regarded as a "townie" and my rural school friends were "country-hacks".
The same applies the world over, I once asked a German about this and he gave a similar answer. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 04:48 PM

OK Bagpuss, but why only two: Scots and English.(Purely dealing on the John o Groats to Lands End line.) Why not North Scots, South Scots, north English, South English. or whatever. you have to distinguish between a linguistic approach and a political approach, which may give different answers. Why do you divide them into two languages? I know that historically some people have called them/it by different names (Scots and and English) but that doesnt mean they are different languages, it only means some people have different names for what could be the same thing. In Scottish and northern English larks were called laverocks. Same bird, two names.
   I say ,same language (but with huge localised differences) two names.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ulster Scots?What is it?
From: Snuffy
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 05:59 PM

From my uni days in the late 60s I seem to remember that there were were four main dialect groups (languages) in England itself:

Northern: above a line through north Manchester to the Humber
Midland: between there and a line south of Birmingham to the Wash
South West: roughly west of a line from Birmingham to Southampton
South East: the other bit.

Of course the changes are fairly seamless as you cross the boundaries, as not all changes occur at the same point. Each of these groups probably has enough distinguishing characteristics to claim language status alongside Scots.

And of course major cities are a melting pot where a new language is formed from the mixture of many inputs: London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, the Potteries etc.


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Mudcat time: 25 September 9:28 PM EDT

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