Are you from the Cape Shore of Placentia Bay, the Carbonear-Bay Roberts area, Tilting / Fogo Island, Little Bay Islands/Green Bay, the Port au Port peninsula, or the Codroy Valley? There’s an interesting and exciting new study that needs your voice!
The Music of Dialect: An Electroacoustic Research-Creation Project
We are seeking participants to interview for a musical research and composition project about dialect and folksong in different regions of Newfoundland. The study will take about half an hour and you will be compensated $10 for your participation. We will be conducting interviews in your community between August 8th – 18th.
Willing participants will be asked to read aloud excerpts from Newfoundland folksongs. Then, they will be asked to respond to the texts and to answer some questions about their own experiences with this type of music. Interviews will be recorded for use in future stages of the project.
Any members of your community would be ideal candidates, but we would be especially interested in speaking with people who have lived in this community for most or all of their lives. Please contact us if you or someone you know may be interested.
Jason Noble email@example.com
Steve Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department of Linguistics is looking for participants who grew up in and currently live in Newfoundland for a study on speech perception and production. Participants will listen to speech samples and answer questions about them. Participants will also be asked to read some words and phrases aloud. These readings will be recorded and analyzed.
Participants will be paid $10 for their time. Participation should take about an hour. To participate, you must speak English as your first language.
If you are interested in participating please book a time here:
or simply contact
Another day, another handwriting query. This one has been written by G. M. Story, a note to Dr. Kirwin on the entry for jackatar. The indecipherable bit is in the third full line of text. If you think you can figure it out, please comment below or send us an email. The word-file below reads:
Could you advise on anything you think
needs revision in this entry? We have
one  quote [indecipherable] DNE a little,
and a few 1980s quots to add.
But have you second thoughts on the
definition (eg. the Micmac indians mix),
Word-file for ‘jackatar’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.
This particular word has shown up on several cards and we cannot figure it out.
The headword here is ‘swat’ (top left corner) and the editors have indicated that the citation is withdrawn by writing ‘Withdraw?’ in the top right corner followed by a check mark. This citation has been withdrawn because, as the card states, “Not much evidence”.
The final word in the last line is the word we need help with. It reads:
“Devine’s item is in [indecipherable]”
We thought that it was Hoelboell, but we are not certain. If you have a guess, submit it here on the blog! This is the clearest example that we have in the ELRC. If we can track down the other slips, we’ll post them as well.
Word-file for ‘swat’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.
Here’s another handwriting query from the DNE files. The word we cannot decipher is right after the =. It may be an Inuit word meaning ‘ice hole’ but we can’t quite figure it out. We have figured out that it says:
ice hole = [indecipherable]
Word-file for ‘ice’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.
Today marks the end of the first phase of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English Word-file Digitization Project. David Browne, one of this semester’s MUCEP students, digitized the very last card this morning. The last card digitized was for Tyfoy (Typhoid) fever, fitting since everyone and their dog seems to be sick these days in the long and hungry month of March.
The Digitization project was initiated in 2005 at the ELRC and we have worked very hard for the past decade to get to this point. This project has employed almost 100 students so far and we are extremely grateful for each and every one of our student research assistants who have grappled with the aging computer network, indecipherable handwriting, numerous protocol changes and much more.
We have already started the second phase of this project: verification of almost 100,000 digitized records using a newly developed protocol designed to bring all the records inline with each other. This second phase will take approximately 2 years to complete as long as our student support does not dwindle. We are also in the process of determining the most appropriate migration to a database format in order to make this unique and important collection available to scholars or interested parties.
Thanks especially to the great group of students currently working at the ELRC: David Browne, Sarah Budgell, Jordyn Hughes, Janet Kelly, Rebecca Nolan, and Cathy Wiseman.