This website provides
information on the Ulster dialect of southwest Tyrone, which I term
'Southwest Tyrone English' (SwTE). It is hoped that it will be of use
to linguists and non-linguists alike.
This website describes the rural dialect of English spoken in the area south of Omagh in County Tyrone,
particularly around the 'towns' of Dromore, Fintona and Seskinore. It is
not possible (or desirable) to be precise about the geographical limits of
SwTE, lying as it does within the larger Mid-Ulster English
dialect area (see Harris (1985)), which stretches across Ulster, from
Belfast to Donegal. My description of SwTE does
not imply that it is a distinct or sharply defined entity within this
It is, however, possible to say something about the
rough geographical limits of SwTE, particularly in the
northwest and southwest. Beyond Omagh, the kind of English spoken is
noticeably different, most obviously in the direction of Drumquin, where a
definite 'Scottish' accent is evident. Similarly, a Fermanagh accent
becomes noticeable at Lack, Irvinestown, Kilskeery and Clabby. The
boundary of SwTE to the northeast and southeast is more difficult to
determine; the English spoken around Beragh and Sixmilecross and perhaps
in the Clogher Valley is similar to SwTE. To the east, there appears to be
a gradual change in accent, which becomes noticeable beyond Ballygawley.
description of SwTE has two sources. These are:
Audio recordings: These
have been, and continue to be collected as time (and money) allow.
At present, there are some 12-13 hours of audio material, involving over
15 speakers. The audio recordings, mostly informal interviews, form the
core of my corpus of SwTE. Where possible, descriptions of SwTE are based
Native speaker knowledge:
I am a native speaker of SwTE, having grown up in a community where the
traditional rural dialect is/was spoken by many, including my parents and
grandparents. As a result, a large
number of my observations on SwTE consist of notes (or even memories)
which are not ‘verified’ by recordings.