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29 October 2014
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Ulster-Scots today
History of Ulster-Scots
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History of Ulster-Scots

The Scots character of Ulster-Scots, deriving from Lallans (Lowlands Scots), is its dominant and distinguishing feature. During the 16th and 17th centuries Scots speakers brought their language from Scotland to the north-east of Ireland.

During the 16th and 17th centuries Scots speakers brought their language from Scotland to the north-east of Ireland.
Political events in Scotland during this time, namely the Reformation in 1560 and the Union of the Crowns in 1603, increased the use of English by making it the language of the church and administration. This had a damaging impact on the status of Scots there, confining it largely to a spoken language.

Meanwhile, for Ulster-Scots speakers in Northern Ireland, a literary tradition was boosted by the publications of the Weaver-poets at the end of the 18th century. Although Ulster-Scots continued to be used in the community and in prose works into the 20th century, it was not until the late 20th century that it began to receive greater official recognition.

With the establishment of organisations such as the Ulster-Scots Language Society in 1992 and the Ulster-Scots Heritage Council in 1994 and the language's recognition in the Belfast Agreement, it is hoped that the Ulster-Scots tongue will gather strength throughout the 21st century.

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