- Today I was driven to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada by my nephew Kevin, accompanied by my brother-in-law Earl to meet Bob and Penny Gregg, arriving at their home at 11.30 am. We discussed forming an Ulster-Scots Language Society.This would be complimentary with and not in opposition to the Ultach Trust ,for the promotion of Ulster Gaelic, of which I was a founder member.
On 17th January this year I published under my imprint Pretani Press the three-volume Folk Poets of Ulster Series, including the “Country Rhymes” of James Orr, Samuel Thompson and Hugh Porter, thus initiating the modern Ulster-Scots Language movement. I suggested the use of “Ullans” as a contraction of “Ulster Lallans”, which I had first used in my book The identity of Ulster in 1981, but of the word “Uladh”, Gaelic for Ulster, or “Ulidia” and “Lallans”, Scotch for Lowlands,used by Rabbie Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.
I also suggested the new name for a proposed Ulster-Scots Academy with Professor Gregg. The Academy would be based on the Frisian Academy or Fryske Akademy of Sciences in the Netherlands, with its three departments of Linguistics and Literature, History and Culture, and Social Sciences, which I had visited in 1978, and again in 1980, with a group of community activists from Northern Ireland. I wrote of it in The Language of Ulster section of The identity of Ulster.
- The Fryske Akademy enhances the knowledge of the Frisian language, history, culture and society by means of research and makes the results available to a national and international public of experts.The Akademy publishes academic books, articles and reports on the Frisian language, culture, history and society; and it organises lectures, conferences and symposiums.
- It spreads the word, for instance by making the major Dictionary of the Frisian Language (WFT) and the Historical Geographical Information System (HISGIS) generally available online.
- It initiates and participates in projects in which the sociological, psychological and pedagogical aspects of the Frisian society take centre stage, such as Boppeslach and Mercator (the European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning).
- By endowing chairs at the universities of Leyden and Amsterdam, the Akademy allows for academic education and research in the fields of Frisian language and literature, and the medieval history of Fryslân.