Martello tower, photo by Erik Simpson

A Phonemic Dictionary for Ulysses

The search interface of the phonemic dictionary allows the user to search a large dictionary of English words or the subset of those words that appear in Ulysses. Searching by phoneme enables the discovery of some of Joyce's punning patterns: searching for words with M in the first position and L in the third, for example, produces a list of results that point not only to the relatively obvious pairing of Molly and Milly in the novel but also to a subtler play with molecules (Molly-cules), "Molloy" as a masculine form of "Molly" (analogous to the novel's Bello/Bella pair and many other inventive uses of vowel shifts to re-gender words), and Joyce's extensive use of other terms that fit the M_L pattern, from milk to Mulligan. Ideally, such associations will prompt further analysis, such as that of our vowel alternation project.

This tool is based on a phonemic dictionary developed by Grinnell alumnus Gregory Schneider, which in turn was based on this tool created and made freely available by Kevin Lenzo. The Grinnell Ulysses Collective has further adapted the phonetic dictionary in a number of ways, including the addition of the options that allow the searching of Ulysses.