Papers from the Fourteenth International Conference on Methods in Dialectology, 2011
Edited By Alena Barysevich, Alexandra D'Arcy and David Heap
Part IV: Dialect Cartography, Methods, and Techniques
Adapting legacy regional language materials to an interactive online format: The Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador English1 Sandra Clarke Memorial University of Newfoundland Introduction New digital technologies offer hitherto unexplored opportunities for the docu- mentation of regional speech variation. This article reports on an ongoing pro- ject which builds on legacy archival recorded materials to produce an online linguistic atlas: the Dialect Atlas of Newfoundland and Labrador. Joining a very small number of online dialect atlases within the English-speaking world, this regional atlas is among the first to document regional language varieties in the context of emerging Web 2.0 technologies. It aims not only to bridge the gap between scholarly and popular audiences but also to fuse traditional regional dialect materials with contemporary speech patterns by engaging interactively with users. The following sections contextualize the project, and then outline the steps whereby existing archival materials were converted to digital format and adap- ted for online presentation. This is followed by a brief overview of how the Atlas functions. A final section deals with issues of public engagement, social impact, and long-term sustainability. Background The unique nature of Newfoundland and Labrador English (NLE) is well recog- nized (see for example Schneider 2004, Clarke 2010). One of the earliest trans- atlantic British colonies, the island of Newfoundland attracted a highly localized 1 The Dialect Atlas team acknowledges with gratitude funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Public Outreach Dissemination Grant program, along with a number of Memorial-University-administered...
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