This chapter explores the linguistic history of Ulster, briefly examining (lack of) evidence for English in the province before the 17th century, describing the Plantation of Ulster and its associated settlements (a process of settlement colonisation), and discussing the demographic and linguistic transformation of the province that resulted. It explores the decline in Irish in the province in detail, not only in the Plantation period but in subsequent centuries, showing that the loss of Irish in most of Ulster was a result of the settlements and a slow process of language shift thereafter, being almost complete by the end of the 19th century. The chapter also touches upon the possible linguistic significance of the ethno-religious divide in the province, how it might relate to the linguistic history just described, and how it might have affected the phonological development of MUE.
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