A dialect survey of Grand Bank, Newfoundland

Noseworthy, Ronald George (1971) A dialect survey of Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In order to adequately sample the regional speech of the people of Grand Bank, twenty-one informants from the three main age-groups were selected, with at least one informant in each group having attained a relatively high level of education. These people were involved with a variety of occupations although most of them were, or had been, connected with the fishery. -- In Chapter I, a brief history of the town is presented, showing its French origins, its later settling by people from the British Isles - particularly Southwest England, and its development into one of the most important fishing towns in Newfoundland. -- Chapter 2 is mainly a phonemic treatment of the sound system of the Grand Bank informants, with each phoneme and its allophones listed and then briefly discussed. Although there was a fairly high degree of variation in the idiolects of the informants, there are certain features which are characteristic of their speech. These are the prevalence of the glottal stop [?] which occurs instead of a variety of voiced and unvoiced consonants, the initial and intervocalic addition of /h/ and also its initial dropping, and the unexpected, off-glides, /w/ and /y/, which frequently occur in vowel sequences. Also many vowels are lengthened, or modified by fronting, retraction, raising, and lowering, and [a] and [D] occur where most other speakers of English use [Ɔ]. There is also much assimilation and dropping of consonants which is probably caused by the relatively rapid speech of most of the informants. -- Selected features of the informants' grammar are discussed in Chapter 3, according to the main parts of speech. The most frequent of those features were several forms of the verb "be", especially the form "bees", non-standard forms of the past tense and past participle for many verbs, and several interesting forms of pronouns. Also interesting is the prevalence of the adjective qualifiers "some" and "right", and the various forms of "either" and "neither" when used as noun-determiners. -- In Chapter 4, selected vocabulary items are dealt with. The number of informants using each term is listed and their explanations of those terms are discussed. Reference is also made to the English Dialect Dictionary if any of the above terms are found there. The vocabulary of the informants was particularly rich in terms connected with the fishery, and the oldest age-group, those who were seventy years of age or older, used the greatest variety of terms. -- Chapter 5 summarizes the survey, and factors which probably influenced the idiolects of the informants are discussed. Education was especially important and so was age, but to a lesser degree. The differences in sex, and cultural change, - the decline of the Bank fishery, especially influenced the vocabulary of the informants. The dialect of the people of Grand Bank is closely related to that of Southwest England.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7151
Item ID: 7151
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 268-269.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 1971
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Grand Bank
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Dialects--Newfoundland and Labrador

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