Dictionary of Newfoundland English Word-File Digitization Project

Cabinets in the ELRC containing the approximately 100,000 word-files that went into the creation of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English.

Directed by the ELRC Management Committee

The Dictionary of Newfoundland English is one of the most internationally acclaimed and best-known publications to emerge from the province. This project aims to digitize the more than 100,000 word-files that went into the creation of the DNE and to make the data available to interested researchers. Digitization will also help to preserve the DNE's primary and secondary source records.

Scholars associated with the ELRC published the first edition of the DNE in 1982. They followed this up with a second edition in 1990, which contained a Supplement offering approximately 1,500 new words or expanded entries. Yet there are thousands of other words and citations that did not make it into either the DNE or its Supplement. These are housed in the DNE collection at the ELRC.

The DNE collection consists of every word-file the editors of the DNE compiled while working on the publication. Each word-file contains an example of a local word in its actual usage, or a commentary on a word by the dictionary's editors and contributors. Some cards also show sketches and diagrams which help to define the word being investigated. About two thirds of these records are not represented in the published DNE entries, and constitute an essential source for future studies of the grammar and lexicon of Newfoundland English.

Under the DNE Word-File Digitization Project, trained research assistants in the ELRC are scanning each of these 100,000 word-files and transcribing their contents into a searchable database. The Project began in 2005 and in late 2017 reached a near-complete state. A final phase will be to make the database available online to other researchers and interested parties.


English Language Research Centre

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000