By Janet Harron |
October 24, 2012
The Dictionary of Newfoundland English (DNE), one of the most iconic publications in the province’s history, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
To mark the occasion, the Faculty of Arts’ English Language Research Centre (ELRC) is hosting a symposium on Newfoundland and Labrador English from Nov. 9-10. To kick off the symposium on Friday, Nov. 9, friends and colleagues of DNE editors G. M. Story, W. J. Kirwin, and J. D. A. Widdowson will share their stories of the scholars and the early days of the dictionary. Participants include Drs. Robert Hollett (English), John Hewson and Harold Paddock (linguistics), Sheila Lynch and master of ceremonies Prof. Shane O’Dea (English).
“We’re also going to be airing stories from an audio interview John Widdowson did at the ELRC earlier this year in which he reflects on his fieldwork and his colleagues,” said Suzanne Power, manager at the ELRC and a key organizer of the symposium.
The Friday evening event will culminate with a reception in the Arts building atrium featuring entertainment from local musician Boyd Chubbs.
All day Saturday, Nov. 10, presentations on Newfoundland and Labrador English and culture will be given by a range of faculty members and students. Presenters come from the Departments of Linguistics, English, Folklore and History and include (among others) linguistics professors Drs. Sandra Clarke (author of Newfoundland and Labrador English), Gerard Van Herk (author of What is Sociolinguistics?) and Paul De Decker, history professor Dr. Jeff Webb (author of The Voice of Newfoundland) and folklorist Dr. Philip Hiscock.
A tour of the English Language Research Centre, informally known as “the Dictionary Room” will be given during Saturday’s lunch break.
In addition, the Canadian Language Museum’s travelling exhibit, Canadian English, Eh?, will be installed in the arts atrium from Nov. 5-10.
“The editors of the DNE shone a very bright light on Newfoundland English through their work and fostered a sense of the importance of documenting and preserving this part of our cultural identity,” said Ms. Power, who is also a MA candidate in linguistics.
“Many people aren’t aware of the vast amount and quality of research on Newfoundland and Labrador language and culture that’s being done today. This symposium will showcase current work across several disciplines and will allow both the university community and the general public a chance to learn more about the past, present and future of language and culture in this province.”