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Newfoundland English - variation in the proununciation of voiced and voiceless “th”
2000 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada is known to most as the first part of North America to be discovered by Europeans. This happened when Viking Leif Eiriksson reached the northern peninsula of the island in the 11th century. Despite the early discovery, the settlement of Newfoundland did not begin until the late 16th when settlers from mainly south-eastern Ireland and south-western England were brought over by the British Crown to explore Newfoundland’s great natural resources and establish fisheries. Being an island and the fact that it did not become a member of the Canadian confederation until 1949, have led to the preservation of the particular Newfoundland English. In my D-paper I set out to investigate two distinctive phonological variables of this dialect, namely voiced and voiceless ‘th’ and compare my results to how these variables are pronounced in standard Mainland Canadian English. I tested 18 informants, 9 male and 9 female at Memorial University of Newfoundland and I incorporated William Labov’s four contextual styles as a means of assistance to gather my material. My study showed that the frequency of non-standard speech was closely connected with the degree of formality and that my male informants tended to use more non-standard forms than my female informants. In addition to this, my results also support the general hypothesis that educated young Newfoundlanders prefer the standard Mainland Canadian English to their own dialect, which is considered non-standard.

Abstract [en]

Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada is known to most as the first part of North America to be discovered by Europeans. This happened when Viking Leif Eiriksson reached the northern peninsula of the island in the 11th century. Despite the early discovery, the settlement of Newfoundland did not begin until the late 16th when settlers from mainly south-eastern Ireland and south-western England were brought over by the British Crown to explore Newfoundland’s great natural resources and establish fisheries. Being an island and the fact that it did not become a member of the Canadian confederation until 1949, have led to the preservation of the particular Newfoundland English. In my D-paper I set out to investigate two distinctive phonological variables of this dialect, namely voiced and voiceless ‘th’ and compare my results to how these variables are pronounced in standard Mainland Canadian English. I tested 18 informants, 9 male and 9 female at Memorial University of Newfoundland and I incorporated William Labov’s four contextual styles as a means of assistance to gather my material. My study showed that the frequency of non-standard speech was closely connected with the degree of formality and that my male informants tended to use more non-standard forms than my female informants. In addition to this, my results also support the general hypothesis that educated young Newfoundlanders prefer the standard Mainland Canadian English to their own dialect, which is considered non-standard.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. , 32 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53965Local ID: ENG D-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53965DiVA: diva2:1102525
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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