- English (3) (remove)
- Comparing timing models of two Swiss German dialects (2004)
- Research on dialectal varieties was for a long time concentrated on phonetic aspects of language. While there was a lot of work done on segmental aspects, suprasegmentals remained unexploited until the last few years, despite the fact that prosody was remarked as a salient aspect of dialectal variants by linguists and by naive speakers. Actual research on dialectal prosody in the German speaking area often deals with discourse analytic methods, correlating intonations curves with communicative functions (P. Auer et al. 2000, P. Gilles & R. Schrambke 2000, R. Kehrein & S. Rabanus 2001). The project I present here has another focus. It looks at general prosodic aspects, abstracted from actual situations. These global structures are modelled and integrated in a speech synthesis system. Today, mostly intonation is being investigated. However, rhythm, the temporal organisation of speech, is not a core of actual research on prosody. But there is evidence that temporal organisation is one of the main structuring elements of speech (B. Zellner 1998, B. Zellner Keller 2002). Following this approach developed for speech synthesis, I will present the modelling of the timing of two Swiss German dialects (Bernese and Zurich dialect) that are considered quite different on the prosodic level. These models are part of the project on the "development of basic knowledge for research on Swiss German prosody by means of speech synthesis modelling" founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
- Quantitative approaches to linguistic variation in IRC : implications for qualitative research (2008)
- Qualitative analysis of code choice, code switching, and language style in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) can shed light on functional-pragmatic aspects of the use of different linguistic varieties. However, in a qualitative analysis, the status of varieties within a channel or for a single chatter can only be guessed at. Moreover, qualitative research on linguistic variation in IRC often fails to generalize its findings due to a restricted database or a restricted view of a database. This article introduces an approach that allows for embedding of qualitative research within a quantitative research design. The quantitative method presented here enables general statements to be made about the use of varieties or the usage of certain chatters in a chat channel. The approach is exemplified with data from Swiss IRC channels, in which Swiss German dialects and standard German are used side by side. A large corpus is analyzed for static and dynamic aspects of dialect share. It is argued that this quantitative approach can provide a background for qualitative analysis and facilitate the selection process of relevant data required for qualitative analysis.
- Code choice and code-switching in Swiss-German internet relay chat rooms (2006)
- In the German-speaking regions of Switzerland, dialect is spoken by all social groups in most communicative situations, Standard German being used only when prescribed. Swiss dialects rarely appeared in written form before the 1980s, apart from the genre of dialect literature. Due to the growing acceptance of informal writing styles in many European languages, dialect is increasingly employed for written personal communication, in particular in computer-mediated communication (CMC). In Swiss Internet Relay Chat (IRC) rooms, varieties of German are used side by side as all chatters have a command of both standard and dialectal varieties. Depending on the channel, the proportion of dialectal contributions can be as high as 90 percent. The choice of a particular variety depends on both individual preference and on the predominant variety used within a specific thread. In this paper I take a quantitative approach to language variation in IRC and demonstrate how such an approach can help embed qualitative research on code-switching in CMC.