Newfoundland English

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Newfoundland English is a name for several dialects of English found in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Most of these differ substantially from the English commonly spoken elsewhere in Canada. Many Newfoundland dialects are similar to the West Country dialects of West Country, England, particularly the City of Bristol and counties Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, while others resemble dialects of Ireland's southeast, particularly Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Cork. Still others blend elements of both. A vast majority of Newfoundland's population emigrated to the island specifically from these two regions, explaining the resemblance.[1][2]

The dialects that comprise Newfoundland English developed because of Newfoundland's history as well as its geography. Newfoundland was one of the first areas settled by England in North America, beginning in small numbers in the early 17th century[3] before peaking in the early 19th century. Newfoundland was a British colony until 1907 when it became an independent Dominion within the British Empire. It became a part of Canada in 1949. Newfoundland is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, separated by the Strait of Belle Isle from Labrador, the sparsely populated mainland part of the province. Most of the population remained rather isolated on the island, allowing the dialects time to develop independently of those on the North American continent.

Historically, Newfoundland English was first recognized as a separate dialect by the late 18th century when George Cartwright published a glossary of Newfoundland words.


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