Tributes have been paid to "one of the most significant Ulster-Scots poets and lexicographers of the last 200 years", James Fenton, who has died at the age of 89.
Mr Fenton's record of spoken Ulster-Scots, The Hamely Tongue, is regarded as the language's definitive work. He also wrote several poetry collections in the language, Thonner an Thon and On Slaimish, that garnered critical acclaim.
Born in 1931 on his family's farm near Ballymoney in Co Antrim, James Fenton attended Dalriada Grammar School, Stranmillis College and Queen's University Belfast.
A teacher by profession, he became a school principal and in later years president of the Ulster-Scots Language Society and the Ulster-Scots Academy. He began compiling the Ulster-Scots language from his younger years, gathering and annotating what would eventually become a comprehensive dictionary of words and phrases, capturing the musicality of the speech of his neighbours and how the language is used in everyday, complicated interactions.
In 1995 the first edition of The Hamely Tongue - his "labour of love" - was published.
His goal was to create "an authentic, comprehensive record of a living language: its vocabulary, idiom, characteristic turns of phrase and modes of expression, its aphorisms and its humour."
Dr Frank Ferguson, research director of English Language and Literature at Ulster University, said James Fenton was one of the most significant Ulster-Scots voices of the last 200 years.
"Through his literary collections Thonner an Thon and On Slaimish he can be rightfully placed in the august family of Scots language writers. His sensitivity and talent as a poet saw him stand proudly as an inheritor of the Rhyming Weaver tradition of James Orr and Samuel Thomson," he said.
"His consciousness of the rhythm and sound of place also showed him to be a canny innovator striding out into similar literary territories as Seamus Heaney, John Hewitt and Patrick Kavanagh.
"His Hamely Tongue dictionary, a heartfelt, unique compilation of the Ulster-Scots words of his native Antrim and surrounding districts, is a monumental celebration of local speech and culture. The rich legacy that he leaves, as poet, word collector and broadcaster, will remain immense for all interested in the languages and literatures of Ulster and Scotland. A family man as modest as he was gifted, he will be sadly missed."
Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, described James Fenton as "a poet of cultural importance, whose legacy reached beyond the Ulster-Scots his work so eloquently documented and enriched, to wider society, he was an advocate for community respect and understanding".
A spokesperson for the Ulster-Scots Agency said: "We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of poet and author, James Fenton, who was one of the great champions of the Ulster-Scots language."
James Fenton is survived by his wife Pam, his son Roger and granddaughter Katie Fenton.