Event Title

Using Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEX) to Study Phonological Change in the Dialect of Wermelskirchen, Germany

Presenter Information

Melanie Smith

Mentor 1

Garry Davis

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

Previous research has shown that the historical dialect of Wermelskirchen, Germany, exhibits behavior that serves as a ‘missing link’ between German, and its related languages, Dutch and English. In standard German, pronunciation of the consonants p, t, and k, systematically changed to f, s, and ch, respectively (for example, contrasting English “to grip” with German “greifen”), while in the Wermelskirchen dialect these changes are only seen when the consonant follows a short vowel. The purpose of this project is to study how the software Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEX) can be used to create a research tool to then study this change in consonant pronunciation from. Methodology of this project includes inputting data into FLEX that represents three different chronological stages of the dialect: one source from 1905, one from the 1930’s and 40’s, and one from 2005. By using FLEX to directly compare these three sources, there may be insight into how the dialect of Wermelskirchen developed through the years, and more generally how a language’s phonology changes over time. This project encoded a sample batch of data into FLEX and documented how the data must be inputted in order to make it searchable for research purposes. Ultimately, more data from each of the three sources will be inputted to create a well-documented resource for those studying phonological change in the German language, and a resource for those looking to use FLEX for similar purposes.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Using Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEX) to Study Phonological Change in the Dialect of Wermelskirchen, Germany

Union Wisconsin Room

Previous research has shown that the historical dialect of Wermelskirchen, Germany, exhibits behavior that serves as a ‘missing link’ between German, and its related languages, Dutch and English. In standard German, pronunciation of the consonants p, t, and k, systematically changed to f, s, and ch, respectively (for example, contrasting English “to grip” with German “greifen”), while in the Wermelskirchen dialect these changes are only seen when the consonant follows a short vowel. The purpose of this project is to study how the software Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEX) can be used to create a research tool to then study this change in consonant pronunciation from. Methodology of this project includes inputting data into FLEX that represents three different chronological stages of the dialect: one source from 1905, one from the 1930’s and 40’s, and one from 2005. By using FLEX to directly compare these three sources, there may be insight into how the dialect of Wermelskirchen developed through the years, and more generally how a language’s phonology changes over time. This project encoded a sample batch of data into FLEX and documented how the data must be inputted in order to make it searchable for research purposes. Ultimately, more data from each of the three sources will be inputted to create a well-documented resource for those studying phonological change in the German language, and a resource for those looking to use FLEX for similar purposes.