Aimun-mashinaikan kaiminanuta

The dictionary editorial committee met regularly over the course of the CURA project, and its new incarnation the Innu Language Project, to consider revisions and additions to the pan-Innu database. Prior to each meeting, Editor-in-chief José Mailhot prepares a working document of decisions to be considered; following the meeting, she adds the decisions made on each item and sends the report to all members of the committee. Mailhot consults with speakers of the Lower North Shore dialects, as well the Uashau-Matimekush dialects, between meetings to collect data about points of difference in the pronunciation, spelling and meaning of individual and classes of lexical items. The decisions of earlier meetings are regularly reviewed and revised at later meetings as new data become available.

A database of over 25,000 items has been established by combining the Drapeau database, collected primarily in western-most community of Betsiamites, with a database of lexical items collected for the dialect spoken in the more central Uashau-Matimekush (Sept-Iles -Schefferville) area as well as in the two Labrador communities of Sheshatshiu and Natuashish. An older dictionary created in the Lower North Shore (LNS) community of La Romaine was digitized and serves as the basis for comparing the LNS dialects with those in the west and in Labrador. Numerous differences in pronunciation and meaning have been discovered among the dialects and new lexical items have been added to the main database. Dictionaries for related Cree and Naskapi dialects are consulted during the process; in addition, the historical French-Montagnais dictionary produced by Father Laure in 1727 has been digitized so that it can be consulted quickly.

Although a standard spelling system was established and implemented in the 1990s, these editorial meetings have been an ideal opportunity to re-think and revise the spellings of many classes of words, based on pronunciation differences in the eastern dialects.

Marguerite MacKenzie, José Mailhot and CURA members Sarah Knee, Will Oxford and Laurel Anne Hasler have been entering changes into local copies of the pan-Innu dictionary file, kept in a Toolbox database. A master copy is kept on a remote server, allowing more than one editor to work on the database at the same time. Editors work on the copy on their own machines, first updating it from the master and then uploading their changes.

Will Oxford and Bill Jancewicz established the formatting for the printed copies to be generated from the Toolbox database: Innu-English, Innu-French, English-Innu, French-Innu. Marie-Odile Junker and staff established the format for posting the electronic copy of the dictionary.

Meeting/Workshop Participants:

Anne-Marie Baraby Linguistique, UQAM
Lynn Drapeau Professor, Linguistique, UQAM
Marguerite MacKenzie PI, Professor, Memorial
José Mailhot Editor-in-Chief
Yvette Mollen Coordinator of Innu language and culture, ICEM
Hélène St-Onge Innu language and culture staff, ICEM
Will Oxford MA student, Memorial


Editorial Meetings/Workshops:

More meetings have been held since the completion of the CURA project, but have not been recorded on this website.


Last Updated: November 14, 2013

Send questions or comments to:

All materials on this website have been posted with appropriate permission