FOLLOWING the death of Bobby Hogg, pictured, the last speaker of the old dialect of the Cromarty fisherfolk, I was interested to read the article by David Ross ("Scotland's rich tapestry of tongues", The Herald, October 2").

He reports: "Ulster Southern Scots is spoken in the Borders and Dumfriesshire and is also known as Border Scots."

Ulster Scots, in fact, refers to the dialects of the Scots language spoken in parts of Northern Ireland such as County Antrim. As far as I know it is not spoken in Scotland. The origins of the Ulster Scots dialect came about in the 17th century when many Scots arrived in Ulster under an organised colonisation scheme. They were known as Planters. There is still a huge cultural interest in the Ulster Scots language.

Whilst there are some similarities, the Ulster Scots dialect differs from Galloway Irish, the actual dialect spoken proudly by many of us who live in the most southerly part of Scotland: the Rhins of Galloway, Wigtownshire. It is characterised by the frequent use of broad vowels and we are often mistaken as hailing from "across the water". Galloway Irish came about because of the close proximity of southern Scotland to Northern Ireland. Over the decades many Irish people have settled in the towns and villages of Wigtownshire, particularly in the 19th century, during the years of the potato famine. This has given Galloway a distinctly rich and unique cultural identity of which our dialect is only a small part.

Elaine H Barton,

30 Lochryan Street, Stranraer.