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Memorial University of Newfoundland - Digital Archives Initiative

Dictionary of Newfoundland English Word Form Database



Dictionary of Newfoundland English Word Form Database
The Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE) is one of the most internationally acclaimed and best-known publications to emerge from the province. Scholars associated with Memorial University’s English Language Research Centre (ELRC) published the first edition of the DNE in 1982. They followed this up with a second edition in 1990, which contained a Supplement offering approximately 1,500 new words or expanded entries. Yet there are thousands of other words and citations that did not make it into either the DNE or its Supplement. These are housed in the DNE collection at Memorial University’s Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

The DNE collection consists of approximately 77,000 word-files the editors of the DNE compiled while working on the publication. Each word-file contains an example of a local word in its actual usage, or a commentary on a word by the dictionary's editors and contributors. Some cards also show sketches and diagrams which help to define the word being investigated. About two thirds of these records are not represented in the published DNE entries, and constitute an essential source for future studies of the grammar and lexicon of Newfoundland English.

Under the DNE Word-File Digitization Project, trained research assistants in the ELRC scanned the thousands of word-files and transcribed their contents into a searchable database. This data is now available on the DAI for researchers to enjoy.

Consult above Help/Search Tips link for assistance.

Below is an explanation of the metadata fields as seen in the Dictionary of Newfoundland English Word Form Database on the DAI.

Word Form: The word in the top left corner as it appears on the card. The word form is often a specific Newfoundland English variant of the head word.

Head Word: The head word is normally the word as it appears in the online Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE). If the word does not appear in the online DNE, the head word is the word as it appears on the top left corner of the card.

Source and Date: The source as it is written on the card by the original researchers of the DNE. There is not always a source and date listed and thus, this field is sometimes left blank. In other cases there are several sources listed. In these cases this field might contain “various dicts” or have source information continue in the Further Info on Source field.

Further Info on Source: Because the Source and Date field is limited to 50 characters, some source information in often entered here. This normally happens with NEWFOUNDLAND FOLKLORE SURVEY cards or with cards containing transcripts of interviews.

Cited Quotation: This is a transcription of the cited quotation as it appears on the card.

Meaning on Card: This field has a limit of 50 characters. If there is a short, concise meaning written on the card, it is entered here. Otherwise it is left blank.

Phonetic Transcription: Sometimes there will be a phonetic transcription under or near the word form that indicates how the word is pronounced. If such a transcription is seen on the card, “Yes” is entered in this field. If there is no phonetic transcription, the field is left blank.

Editor’s Notes 1, 2, 3: If there are editor’s stamps and dates or notes (usually handwritten) on the card, they are entered here. There are 3 metadata fields for Editor’s Notes. We try to only input 2 lines per field but sometimes there is too much text.

Head – Used (I or Sup): This field indicates whether or not the head word is used in the original (I) and/or supplemental (Sup) DNE. This information appears as Used I, Used I and Sup, Used Sup or Not used, depending on the head word.

Form Used (I or Sup): This field indicates whether or not the word form on the card appears under the head word in the original (I) and/or supplemental (Sup) DNE. This information appears as Used I, Used I and Sup, Used Sup or Not used, depending on the word form.

Sense Number: Sense is basically the meaning of a word in a specific context. Because there can be several senses listed in the DNE for one word, this field indicates the specific sense used on one particular card.
In cases where the sense on the card is not clear, this field is left blank.

Slip Contents: This field indicates whether or not the information or Cited Quotation on a card has been used in the DNE. Used I or Used Sup is entered here depending on what DNE edition it is in. Queried or Withdrawn is entered for cards omitted from the DNE.

Linked Compounds and Collocations: This field is sometimes used to enter linked words or different ways to spell a particular head word. Compounds are words made up of two or more words. Some of these are found right after the headword in the DNE entry.
If there are words on the card in square brackets below the cited quotation, for example [see …….], everything in square brackets is entered in this field.

Date Collected: This field represents the date when the editors decided a particular citation should be included in the DNE.

Inputter’s Notes: This field is used for notes related to transcribing the Word Form card. If there are two sides to one card, it is indicated here.



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Memorial University - Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA)

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