A scientific survey of any aspect of the Scotch-Irish
dialects in Ulster would be a linguistic study interesting
in itself. Such a survey becomes much more meaningful,
however, when related to the wider background ojf English
In Ulster itself for the last twelve years a programme
of voluntary research has been carried on by the Folklore
and Dialect Section of the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club,
which apart from its own efforts has been woritiing in close
co- operation with the Linguistic Survey oaf Scotland since
1953. From this activity much valuable material has been
amassed both in Belfast and, in Edinburgh: files have been
established, maps drawn, articles and papers written, talks
given and seminars and, exhibitions held ...
From the point of view of general linguistics,
SI dialectology reveals several interesting phenomena
worthy of discussion.
There is the general study of what happens when
a new language makes a massive incursion into the domain.
of a language of a very different type. The resultant
mutual adjustments which inevitably take place during
the period of bilingualism preceding the ultimate and
perhaps inevitable disappearance of one of the two
languages can be studied at all linguistic levels - phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical and
semantic.. For the purposes of the present thesis the
phonological aspect of these adjustments is of the
utmost importance and a detailed study of the relationship between the 1-)' ,.o n o to n o f SI urban and rural on
the one hand and of Co. Antrim Gaelic on the other has
shown that there must have been a considerable carryover from the latter to the former.