Yan Tyan Tethera
The notable feature of the successful poet's brief is that s/he is supposed to explore the roots of Cumbrian dialect in Scandinavian languages. And they trot out the interesting-if-true chestnut about 15% of Cumbrian men having genetic markers in common with Norwegian men. (Stories that Cumbrian dialect can be understood in Iceland are amazingly persistent - helped by a well-known local author's broadcasts on Radio 4 - but I've never entirely believed them & certainly never met anyone who's actually tried it & had a sensible conversation). I'm fascinated by but wary of the Viking element of our Cumbrian background - it strikes me as being a useful shorthand, adopted by the rest of Britain, to explain and characterise the distinct otherness of Cumbrians and Cumbria - a debatable land neither Scottish nor English. (Cumbria is the only part of modern England that was never a part of one of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms). And the genetic statistic above rather leaves one wondering about the other 85% of Cumbrian men (& the women too).
So I hope the poet remembers that the one piece of Cumbrian dialect that people outside the county recognise - Yan Tyan Tethera the old shepherds' tally for counting sheep - isn't Scandinavian at all, but Cumbric. Yes, Cumbric. Cumbric? What's that? Cumbric's one of the great lost languages of the British Isles, spoken from Lancashire to Strathclyde in the 6th century, and for 600 years afterwards - it apparently survived in the Eden Valley until the 1300s. It was never written down, so it probably died with its last speakers; all we have today are odd words as glosses in manuscripts of Medieval Welsh (its southern sister-language), placenames - Blencathra, Pelutho, Blencogo, Derwent - and echoes in the dialect. And of course Cumbria - 'the land of our fellow-countrymen'.