The claimed ‘language’ of Ulster-Scots has been jokingly dismissed by a DUP MP as “just bad English”.
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley jnr who was speaking on BBC television said although he likes the various accents in the north, they are not languages in their “own right”.
The Ballymena and North Antrim areas Mr Paisley represents in the London parliament is claimed to be the heartland of the ‘Ulster-Scots language’.
However, linguists typically identify that, at most, a local dialect is spoken by some in the area.
“I think our accents are fabulous and they really are an expression of this little place,” Mr Paisley said.
However he said: “Where I think people crack up is when some people try and make sense of it and say it’s actually a language in its own right. It’s not. It’s not.
“It’s just bad English. But you know it’s cute and I think we should embrace it and not be ashamed of it,” he said.
His views are at odds with his party’s position. DUP Strangford MP Jim Shannon recently read part of his maiden speech in the same parliament in the dialect.
Unionists have demanded millions be spent on funding the ‘Ulster-Scots language’ as a counter-balance to the perceived advantage to nationalism of funding for the Irish language.