News and Events
01 March 2013- Dr. William J. Kirwin honoured with a new award from the Faculty of Arts
On February 11, Dr. Kirwin, co-editor of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, was presented with an award at A Fine Crowd: A Reception for Achievement in the Faculty of Arts. This new award, The William J. Kirwin Retiree Recognition Award, recognizes contributions to the Faculty of retirees who have continued their dedication to their research. For anyone who knows Dr. Kirwin, the establishment of this award and his being the first recipient will not come as a surprise. After the publication of the DNE in 1981, Dr. Kirwin retired in 1984 so he could devote more time to his research on the language and history of Newfoundland and Labrador. He also contunued supervision of graduate students. Dr. Kirwin has continued to collect citations of local usages, resulting in a several hundred page lexical file. Up until January, 2012, he was still typing new cards on his typewriter to enter into the DNE word-file collection. This is in additon to various publications and overseeing the function of the ELRC. This award is well-named and well-deserved. Congratulations Dr. Kirwin!
25 February 2013- Jeff Webb's article on the DNE is printed in the journal Dictionaries
ELRC Management Committee member Jeff Webb has just published a paper titled "Culler of Words: Writing the Dictionary of Newfoundland English". The full citation is Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America 33 (2012), 58-82. There is a copy of Webb's paper at the ELRC. Defnitely worth the read, Webb has given voice to the editors of the DNE through his thoughtful history and numerous quotes from the editors' files. The full volume of Dictionaries is available by subscription here.
13 December 2012- Students finish fall work at the ELRC
It's been another great semester at the ELRC with our student research assistants who have been busily working away, digitizing word-files from the DNE collection. About half of the remaining drawers are withdrawn and queried files. These drawers have a lot of handwritten cards in them, some are notes between the editors. While these cards are very interesting and lend context to the citations, the handwriting is difficult to read, excruciatingly so at times.
Our team has been extra busy this semester, helping out with the 30th anniversary celebrations for the DNE. Thanks to Joelle Carey, Maegan Gill, Manjot Gill, Nic Hartmann, and Sarah Milmine for helping out at the celebrations! Thanks also go to those who participated in the story-telling event and symposium. The picture above was taken by Philip Hiscock on the day that The National came to the ELRC to have a look around and interview Philip.
A huge thanks goes out to all of our student research assistants at the ELRC this semester. They include: Manjot Gill, Nicholas Hartmann, Josué Kalombo, Sarah Milmine, Shamiso Simango, and Brittany Stamp. Of the 72 drawers, 50 have been completely digitized, 8 have been partially digitized and 14 remain.
26 November 2012- Suzanne Power interview on Radio Canada International
On Friday November 23, ELRC's Suzanne Power was interviewed by Gilda Salomone on Radio Canada International. You can listen to the interview by clicking here or pasting the following link into your browser: http://www.rcinet.ca/english/daily/interviews-2012/14-37_2012-11-23-iconic-idictionary-of-newfoundland-englishi-celebrates-30-years/
23 November 2012- The ELRC and Philip Hiscock on the National
It's been a great couple of weeks for media coverage of the DNE here at the ELRC, or 'the Dictionary Room'! Philip Hiscock was recently interviewed at the ELRC by Vik Adhopia of the National and the segment aired November 22. You can watch the piece by clicking here or copying this link into your browser: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV%20Shows/The%20National/ID/2308351505/
21 November 2012- DNE 30th anniversary photos and more media coverage, but this time en Français!
Dr. Sandra Clarke is part of the management committee of the ELRC and one of the primary researchers for the online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador. Last week, Dr. Clarke spoke with Jacinthe Tremblay at The Telegram. You can read the article by clicking here.
14 November 2012- DNE 30th anniversary was a success!
Things are gradually getting back to normal here at the ELRC. The 30th anniversary celebrations for the Dictionary of Newfoundland English were a great success! Despite the rain and cold over the weekend, there was a great turnout. The story-telling event went extremely well with speakers telling their stories about the editors and their colleagues, giving the audience a little glimpse of the characters involved in the creation of the DNE. Some stories were funny, others were touching. Dr. William J. Kirwin was in attendance and received a standing ovation for his tireless research and dedication to the study of Newfoundland English and culture. Local musician Boyd Chubbs provided the perfect background to a lovely reception after the event and even finished off with some holiday cheer in the form of a Christmas carol.
The symposium on Saturday was full of interesting papers on a broad range of topics from an interdisciplinary roster of students and faculty, all celebrating Newfoundland and Labrador language, history, folklore and more! Reporters stopped by from the CBC and the Telegram. The Telegram feature was printed yesterday and you can read it by clicking here.During the ELRC tour, a couple of people offered new words that are not in the DNE cllection and enjoyed seeing the digitization interface in action as well as the double-keyboard typewriter that will now stay on display in the ELRC.
The anniversary celebrations have created some buzz outside of the university community as well with CBC running a contest earlier this morning asking listeners to call in with favourite words from or words that should be in the DNE.
Stay tuned for event pictures to be added next week and maybe a sound file or two from the story-telling event!
Thanks to the President's office, the VP Academic, the Departments of English and Linguistics for co-sponsoring these events. A huge thank you to all the story-tellers, presenters, organizers, volunteers, and audience members who came together to celebrate with us!
08 November 2012- DNE 30th anniversary programs
The program for Friday November 9, 2012 7:30-10:30 p.m. is available by clicking here.
The program for Saturday November 10, 2012 9 a.m.-5p.m. is available by clicking here.
Come help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE) this weekend! The celebration starts Friday evening, Nov 9, at 7:30 pm in A1046, off the Arts atrium, when friends and colleagues from a number of Memorial departments will share light-hearted stories of DNE editors G. M. Story, W. J. Kirwin, and J. D. A. Widdowson. The story-telling event will be followed by a reception in the Arts atrium featuring local musician Boyd Chubbs. In addition, one lucky winner will receive a free copy of the 2nd edition of the DNE.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.on Saturday Nov 10, in A1046, come hear faculty and students from the departments of Linguistics, Folklore and History talk about their work on Newfoundland and Labrador English and Culture. Over the lunch break, tours are available of the ELRC, home of the DNE, and current home to several major projects on Newfoundland and Labrador English.
And don't miss the travelling exhibit "Canadian English, Eh?" from the Canadian Language Museum, which can be viewed in the Arts atrium until late Saturday afternoon.
We hope to see you there!
06 November 2012- Update on 30th anniversary celebrations
Things are gearing up for the anniversary celebrations this weekend. The Canadian Language Museum exhibit "Canadian English, Eh?" is now installed in the Arts atrium. Please stop by and have a look.
In addition to all the great stories you'll hear on Friday evening, we'll be giving away a copy of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (2nd edition with supplement) to one lucky winner!
Free parking is available in lot 15B for both the evening Friday Reminiscences event and for the Saturday symposium. This lot is next to the School of Music and you can find it on the campus map by clicking here.
05 November 2012- Philip Hiscock and Suzanne Power on Crosstalk
Philip Hiscock and Suzanne Power joined Ramona Dearing during Radio Noon for Crosstalk today. Listeners called in and Tweeted their favourite words from the DNE as well as words that they might like to see in the DNE. You can listen by clicking here or visit cbc.ca/radionoonnl.
18 October 2012- 30th anniversary celebrations
The Dictionary of Newfoundland English celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and the English Language Research Centre is very pleased to be hosting a symposium on Newfoundland and Labrador English to mark the occasion. We hope you will join us!
10 September 2012- Students finish summer work at the ELRC
Thanks to all of our undergraduate student assistants this past semester for a job well done! Student assistants at the ELRC during the spring semester were: Maegan Gill, Elie Kalombo, Josué Kalombo, Sarah Milmine, and Michael Philpott. These students have kept the DNE word-file digitization project moving along nicely. Of the 72 drawers of word-files, 48 have been fully digitized, 9 have been partially digitized, and 15 remain to be digitized. Thanks are also extended to Melanie Hurley who worked on the Online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English.
02 August 2012- Dr. John Widdowson interviewed on CBC
This past weekend, This past weekend Dr. John Widdowson, one of the DNE editors, was interviewed about the dictionary. The interview was aired on CBC's Weekend Arts Magazine program. You can hear the interview by clicking here.
02 August 2012- ELRC at Memorial Reunion event
On August 10th, ELRC centre manager Suzanne Power, will speak about the ELRC at the Faculty of Arts "Spinnin' a Yarn" Reunion 2012 event. She will speak about the DNE, the ongoing activities at the ELRC and will show a clip from a recent interview she did with Dr. John Widdowson. This interview will also be featured at Celebrating 30 years of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English: Newfoundland and Labrador English Symposium this November. More details coming soon!
25 April 2012- Students finish winter work at the ELRC
It has been a busy semester here at the ELRC as the DNE word-file digitization project progresses at a steady pace. We'd like to take a minute to thank our undergraduate and graduate students for all their hard work over the past four months. Student research assitants at the ELRC during the winter semester were: Shane Beehan, Joelle Carey, Hailey Gallivan, Maegan Gill, Manjot Gill, Rebecca Kalombo, Alison McEvoy, Michael Philpott, Allyson Wheeler and Cathy Wiseman. Of the 72 drawers of word-files, 44 have been completely digitized and 9 are partially digitized. Thanks, also, to Melanie Hurley who worked on the Online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English this semester. To all our research assistants, great work everyone!
20 April 2012- The Newfoundland Historical Society Annual George Story Lecture
The Newfoundland Historical Society will be holding its Annual George Story Lecture on Thursday April 26, 2012 at 8pm at Hampton Hall Lecture Theatre, located at the Marine Institute on Ridge Road. This month's lecturer will be Jeff Webb, and his talk is titled: "George M. Story and the Study of Newfoundland at Memorial".
Refreshments to follow. Parking is free and everyone is welcome to attend
26 March 2012- Regional Language Studies: Call for Papers
Regional Language Studies ... Newfoundland (RLS) is accepting submissions for the 2012 number. You can read the call for papers by clicking here. Please send submissions to Suzanne Power at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is June 29th, 2012.
01 March 2012- Twig featured on CBC Radio
On Wednesday February 29th, Twig author and ELRC centre manager Suzanne Power was interviewed on CBC Radio's Labrador Morning Show. She was talking about the most recent Twig entry that focuses on words relating to alcohol and liquor in the DNE. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.
23 December 2011- Students finish fall work at the ELRC
As we prepare to enter the year of the 30th anniversary of the DNE, thanks go out to our hard working graduate and undergraduate student research assistants this past semester. Because of them, work on the DNE Digitization Project is humming along. Student research assistants in the ELRC this term were: Shane Beehan, Joelle Carey, Manjot Gill, Maegan Gill, Rebecca Kalombo, Alison McEvoy, Krista Nugent-Thomas, and Allyson Wheeler. With their help, we have now digitized over half of the word-files in the DNE collection. The collection, after much reorganization this semester, now consists of 72 word-file drawers. Of these drawers, 37 have been completely digitized and 11 are partially digitized. This means that approximately 50 000 word-files have been digitized to date. Thanks are also extended to Harmony Roberts, who has been working on sound-files this semester for DANL: The Online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English. Thanks to all of our research assistants past and present. Excellent work everybody!
29 November 2011- Philip Hiscock on Radio Noon Crosstalk
On Friday November 25, Philip Hiscock (ELRC Management Committee and Folklore professor) was Ramona Dearing's guest on CBC Radio Noon Crosstalk. The focus of the show is Newfoundland words and expressions. Conversation ranges from controversial topics like the use of 'wop' and 'Newfie' to the complex semantics of prepositions and h-dropping/adding. To hear the full hour-long broadcast, click here.
22 November 2011- Gerard Van Herk is front page news
This past weekend, Gerard Van Herk (ELRC Management Committee and Linguistics professor) graced the cover of the Telegram (Weekender) in a write-up on Memorial University Sociolinguistics Laboratory (MUSL) research, particularly current projects on English in Petty Harbour. His interview with Barb Sweet focuses on how Newfoundland English is NOT dying and discusses sociolinguistic conditioning of s-marking, a rare occurrence in media pieces. You can read the article by clicking here.
21 October 2011 - DNE featured in NQ (The Newfoundland Quarterly)
Taking us on a delightful journey from the conception of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE) through to current research initiatives of the ELRC, the latest issue of the Newfoundland Quarterly (NQ, 104.2) profiles the DNE, its creators and their colleagues, highlighting the cultural importance of scholarly research on Newfoundland English. In this Newfoundland English-focused issue, NQ first interviews DNE editor Dr. J. D. A. Widdowson who provides intriguing insights into the data collection process and reveals his concerns about the preservation of the DNE research materials currently being digitized through the digitization project at the ELRC. Also interviewed in 'Talking About the DNE' are former ELRC Centre Manager Jenny Higgins who elaborates on her fascination with Newfoundland words and the Centre's recent activities, Dr. Sandra Clarke who stresses the value of the ongoing online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English (DANL) project, and Dr. Philip Hiscock who talks about bringing the DNE to students as a valuable research tool. Laced with threads of lost vocabulary and changing dialects, this feature shines a very bright light on the intricate dance of language, culture and identity. If that isn't enough, the feature culminates in a fascinating article on the life and work of DNE editor Dr. George M. Story that details why the DNE, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, was and continues to be so crucial to the cultural heritage of this province.
15 September 2011 - New Centre Manager
Suzanne Power joined the ELRC today as its new Centre Manager. Alongside running the day-to-day operations of the ELRC, the Centre Manager will oversee the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE) word-file digitization project and supervise the work of student researchers engaged in the project. The project's goal is to digitize the more than 100,000 word-files that went into the creation of the DNE and to make the data available to interested researchers. Digitization will also help to preserve the DNE's primary and secondary source records. Suzanne also helps manage the Memorial University Sociolinguistics Laboratory (MUSL) and is a graduate student in Linguistics with an avid interest in Newfoundland English.
Major SSHRC grant awarded to DANL project
The English Language Research Centre is a research partner in the large SSHRC Public Outreach Dissemination grant awarded in April 2011 to linguist Sandra Clarke, along with co-researcher and folklorist Philip Hiscock, both members of the ELRC Management Committee.
This one-year grant, valued at $161,612, will enable completion of the online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English (DANL) project, which documents the extensive regional variation in traditional speech varieties throughout the province, whether in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation features, or grammatical patterns. As such, DANL will constitute perhaps the first online regional dialect atlas in the English-speaking world which is grounded in actual recordings of speech. This atlas, however, will appeal not simply to scholars: using state-of-the-art digital technologies, DANL will make both legacy and current language materials easily accessible to a range of audiences, including K-12 and post-secondary students, interested members of the general public, and cultural and heritage groups.
The SSHRC grant will enable DANL to add a new interactive dimension, developed by Memorial's Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support (DELTS) division, in conjunction with Computing and Communications Webworks (ccwebworks). This will take the form of contributions from present-day residents of the province, whether in remote coastal communities or larger towns and cities. As a result, DANL will anchor twenty-first century regional speech varieties relative to those of over a century and a half ago, within a dynamic Web 2.0 format. In addition, the atlas will be made available not only on web platforms, but also via wireless devices such as smart phones.
2 August 2011 - Paper on the DANL project presented at Methods 14 conference
Sandra Clarke, a member of ELRC's Management Committee, presented a paper on the online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English (DANL) project at the 14th International Conference on Methods in Dialectology, held at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario on August 2-6, 2011. For an abstract of her paper, click here.
13 July 2011 - DNE to be featured in fall Newfoundland Quarterly
Joan Sullivan, editor of the Newfoundland Quarterly, has announced on her blog that the magazine's fall issue will be "about language, and especially about the Dictionary of Newfoundland English". The publication will help to usher in the dictionary's 30th anniversary in 2012. Alongside the DNE, two of the ELRC's ongoing projects will also be featured in the journal: the DNE Word-file Digitization Project and the Online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English (DANL). NQ began publishing in 1901, making it the province's oldest magazine and the country's second oldest. It focuses on the arts, culture, history, industry, and people of Newfoundland and Labrador. We look forward to reading the fall issue of this wonderful publication!
24 June 2011 - Twig profiled on today.mun.ca
Below is an excerpt from Many Cook's feature article about the ELRC's blog, Twig:
In the research materials for the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE), the word twig has two senses: the first is "a small drink" and the second is "to catch the meaning." The first sense appears in the dictionary, but the second does not – the editors considered it too widespread for inclusion. It is the latter sense of the word that Jenny Higgins, manager of the English Language Research Centre (ELRC) at Memorial, has adopted as the name of the blog she created as a corollary to her work digitizing the DNE's supporting word-files.
11 June 2011 – Paper presented to Dictionary Society
ELRC Management Committe member Dr. Jeff Webb delivered a paper titled "The Writing of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, 1954-82" to the biennial meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec on 11 June 2011. Webb's talk highlighted the methodologies used by the authors in compiling and editing the DNE, and the social context within which the dictionary originated and was written. He also discussed the reception of the work and its role in raising an awareness of the value of oral culture.
The audience of more than 60 people included lexicographers and dictionary scholars from many countries, many of whom expressed their interest in both the history of the DNE and the ongoing work of the ELRC. Webb's attendance prompted many helpful contacts with international scholars, which he hopes to follow up upon in his ongoing research into the scholarship on Newfoundland language.
29 April 2011 – Students finish winter work in ELRC
Work on the DNE Digitization Project progressed nicely this term, thanks to the efforts of our graduate and undergraduate student research assistants. Working in the ELRC this term were: Brent Augustus, Manjot Gill, Melanie Hurley, Rebecca Kalombo, Alison McEvoy, Nicole Penney, Renee Sanson, and Lisa Wilson. Thanks to them, and to the students who have worked here in previous semesters, we have now digitized almost half of the approximately 100,000 word-files in the DNE Collection. Of the collection's 75 word-file drawers, 30 have been completely digitized and 10 more are underway. A ninth student attached to the ELRC this term was Meaghan Malone, who did fabulous work for DANL: The Online Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English. We would like to thank all of our students for a job well done!
1 April 2011 – New issue of Regional Language Studies (No.22)
Regional Language Studies...Newfoundland (RLS) released its 22nd issue today. The journal publishes articles, research notes, and bibliographies relating to all aspects of language in Newfoundland and Labrador; it also examines regional place and family names. RLS is edited by Dr. William Kirwin, Secretary of the ELRC. The latest issue features articles by Robert Cuff; Jennifer Thorburn, PhD candidate in Memorial’s Department of Linguists; and William Kirwin. Back issues of the journal can be found on the Digital Archives Initiative. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the recent issue is encouraged to contact the ELRC.
19 January 2011 – Public lecture on the DNE
History professor and ELRC Management Committee member Dr. Jeff Webb gave a public talk on the history of the DNE today. His lecture, entitled "A Distinguishing Feature of the English Department: The Writing of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English" drew upon Dr. Webb's current research into the study of language and culture at Memorial University between the 1950s and 1980s. The lecture attracted a large audience, which reflects the considerable interest that people here still have in the DNE, 29 years after its initial publication.