The Ontario Dialects Project: A Grassroots Perspective on History, Culture and Change
Given the well-known sociolinguistic tenet that language encodes social relations, these factors together suggest that rural Ontario can be expected to be linguistically distinct from urban Ontario.
In sum, for academic as well as non-academic reasons, Ontario's many hinterlands presents an ideal context to explore Canada's dialects.
Check out our Ontario Dialects Page for an interactive exploration of dialectical words and expressions across Ontario!
I would be very interested in hearing from you about words or expressions in your community. Likewise, if you would like to suggest a place that I should visit next, please let me know!
Directions of Change in Canadian English
The Directions of Change (DoC) project seeks to collect and analyze new corpora of Canadian English and, in doing so, contribute new insights into language change. Two types of speech communities are being studied: 1) established populations in rural communities; and 2) Immigrant populations with in Toronto. The DoC project sits on the foundations of The Toronto English Corpus (Tagliamonte, 2003-2006), a collection of sociolinguistic interviews with 'old-line' Torontonians, and the largest corpus of Toronto English ever collected. The main focus will be comparative analysis of features known to be currently undergoing change in Toronto with this data.
The Toronto English Project
The Toronto English project explores how social and cultural changes are taking place in Toronto and in society more generally, and how these are reflected in the way people talk. To do this, we have created a corpus of 'old-line' Toronto English - a record of experiences, memories, and stories about living in Toronto from people who were born and raised here. Currently the corpus consists of 214 men and women between the ages of 8 and 92.
Our biggest problem has been finding people who were actually born and raised in the city. Where are they? There are only six areas in the city where non-immigrants represent a sizable part of the population. These are certain wards in the following neighbourhoods: The West End, The Annex, East York, Scarborough, Eglinton/Lawrence, and The Beaches. Our corpus currently contains a sample of speakers from each of these areas.