A dialect survey of Carbonear, Newfoundland

Paddock, Harold J. (1966) A dialect survey of Carbonear, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Since no mystically unified dialect was expected, twenty-four primary informants were chosen so as to represent the maximum linguistic variety. Thus, I attempted to secure equal numbers in (a) two generations--one older, one middle-aged--(b) the two sexes, (c) two ethnic and religious divisions--roughly, Roman Catholics of Irish ancestry versus Protestants of mostly English ancestry--and (d) three Groups based on social amd economic status and education. Correlations were sought between one or more of these four non-linguistic factors and the linguistic variations discovered. -- Though I deliberately avoid comparing the English of Carbonear with that of other dialects of English, such comparison is implied by some of the choices of emphasis which I have made. This is especially true in Chapter 1, which deals with some selected features of the grammar. -- For example, in much folk and common speech especially among the "English", even the inanimate nouns have a well-defined but covert system of three grammatical genders. In much folk speech lexical verbs employ the same form for both the simple past and the past participle, and the -s inflection is used with all subjects in the simple non-past. -- Chapters 2 and 3 are an attempt at a systematic description of the speech sounds. The common vocoids are roughly [I V ɚ ɛ ə æ ʌ ǫ] and [h]. The first three, [I V ɚ], occur both as syllabics (full vowels) and nonsyllabics (vowel glides). Only front vowels are consistently unrounded; rounded and generally lowered manifestations of all other vowels occur. Phonemic lengthening of vowels is considered to be an allophone of /h/, for it is in complementation with initial [h]. -- Wide variations are found in the distribution of vowels before the vocalic consonants /w y h r/. -- Besides the four consonants which are phonetically vocoids, /w y h r/, cultured speech contains twenty consonants which are phonetically contoids. However, many other speakers use /d/ and /t/ rather than /[special character omitted]/ and /θ/ in words spelled with th such as then and thin. The "clear" allophone of l, [ļ], occurs frequently in final and post-vocalic positions. Conditioned voicing is fairly common in all the obstruents--partial devoicing occurring finally and sometimes initially, whereas intervocalic allophones are often voiced. -- In Chapter 4, a surprisingly large variety of terms is found for many referents. Their distribution usually correlates well with one of the non-linguistic factors. -- Chapter 5 summarizes the correlations between linguistic and non-linguistic factors. The most important linguistic variations correlate well with the social, economic, and educational differences subsumed under the term Group, whereas those which correlate with age, ethnic origins, and sex are relatively minor and infrequent.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6998
Item ID: 6998
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 158-159.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1966
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--Carbonear
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Dialects--Newfoundland and Labrador--Carbonear

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