The genesis and (arrested) development of the Ulster-Scots Academy
In 1992, therefore, the year of Fréchet’s death, I published the three-volume Folk Poets of Ulster Series, including the “Country Rhymes” of James Orr, Samuel Thompson and Hugh Porter. In line with the Scots magazine Lallans, I suggested the use of “Ullans” as the name of the magazine the Ulster-Scots Language Society first published in 1993. The term appeared particularly useful, not only as a contraction of “Ulster Lallans” but of the word “Uladh”, Gaelic for Ulster, or “Ulidia,” and “Lallans”, Scotch for Lowlands , as well as being a acronym for the Society’s aims in its support for the “Ulster-Scots language, literature and Native Speech.” I had also suggested the new name for a proposed
The Academy would fulfil a need for the regulation and standardisation of the language for modern usage. These standards would be initiated on behalf of the Ulster-Scots Community, Protestant and Catholic, Nationalist and Unionist, and would be academically sound. What we didn’t need was the development of an artificial dialect which excluded and alienated traditional speakers. Furthermore, the term “Ullans” was not to be restricted to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, since as a variety of Central or Mid Scots, it is also spoken in south-west Scotland, an area south of the River Nith, including the country of Robert Burns, and in Galloway and Carrick – corresponding roughly to the ancient Kingdoms of Rheged and Aeron – where it is known as “Galloway Irish”. The
In December 1992, I facilitated the formation of the Ulster-Scots Language Society in Craigavon House,
The first formal meeting of the Academy was held at my home on
It was clear to me that establishing a standard version of the language was of fundamental importance while at the same time maintaining local variants. To this end, in 1995, I had published, under the imprint of the Ulster Scots Academic Press from my premises in 12 Main Street, Conlig, County Down, a regional dictionary by James Fenton, The Hamely Tongue which was the most important record yet produced of current Ulster-Scots speech and which is now in its third edition.
With the establishment of the Ulster-Scots Agency in the Noarth/ Sooth Boord o Leid under the Belfast Agreement of 1998, and the formal recognition of Ulster-Scots as a European Regional Language by the U.K. Government in 1999, I ensured that the implementation of the Academy’s Language Development Programme became a Government imperative. On
In 1998/99 the Government had funded the U.S.L.S. to produce a development plan for the Ulster-Scots language. This “Edmund Report” was produced in July 2000 by consultant John Edmund, its official title being, A Strategic Plan for the Promotion of the Ulster-Scots Language. It provided an updated, detailed language development proposal as a model for the work of the
 J.R.R. Adams & P.S. Robinson (eds.) (1992), The Country Rhymes of James Orr, The Bard of Ballycarry, 1770-1816, Bangor, Pretani Press; J.R.R. Adams & P.S. Robinson (eds.) (1992), The Country Rhymes of Hugh Porter, The Bard of Moneyslane, c. 1780, Bangor, Pretani Press; J.R.R. Adams & P.S. Robinson (eds.) (1992), The Country Rhymes of Samuel Thompson, The Bard of Carngranny, Bangor, Pretani Press.
 The Fryske Akademy in Ljouvert (
 Rheged was the
 Billy Kay (1993), Scots: The Mither Tongue , Darvel, Alloway Publishing, 162.
 John Mac Queen (2005), St. Nynia , Edinburgh, Birlinn Ltd. 47. See also
 See verbatim report of proceedings, European Parliament,
 Letter to Sir Patrick Mayhew MP, Secretary of State for
 James Fenton (1995), The Hamely Tongue: A Personal Record of Ulster-Scots in
 Gavin Falconer, “Breaking Nature’s Social Union. The Autonomy of Scots in Ulster,” in John M. Kirk and Dónall P. Ó Baoill (eds.) (2005), Legislation, Literature and Sociolinguistics, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, Belfast, Cló Ollscoil na Banríona, 48-59.
 The text of John Edmund’s report is available as an appendix to Ulster Scots Academy Implementation Group, Proposals for an Ulster-Scots Academy: Public Consultation Document, 2007 available at: http://www.dcalni.gov.uk/public_consultation_on_proposals_for_an_ulster_scots_academy.pdf
To be continued
To be continued