Ronelle Alexander, Professor

Closed (1) Bulgarian Dialectology as Living Tradition

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

Originally conceived of as a complex digital object comprising audio clips from field dialect recordings made in Bulgarian villages over a 25-year period, coordinated with text files containing analysis on several levels, the Bulgarian Dialectology as Living Tradition project now exists as an interactive database, open to the public since May 2016. The central focus is the collection of interviews with speakers from different dialect regions, which are available on the site both as audio files and in annotated transcription. The goal of the site is for users not only to experience the field recordings directly, but also to be able to extract and compare dialectal and ethnographic data on many more levels than has previously been possible. A significant advantage of this project is that its unique design, developed using open-source software, is exportable to those who wish to undertake other similar endeavors in the field of digital humanities.

The current set of annotations covers basic categories of interest to linguists and ethnographers. Now the project is moving into a new and exciting phase, in which a set of annotations will be developed to code various sorts of phrases which are of particular interest in Balkan linguistics, and which have not been successfully coded before in such databases. Although student assistants will be occupied primarily with data entry, currently at the ethnographic level, and then at the phrasal level once it is fully developed, they will also be able to take part both in the refinement of the ethnographic coding categories, and in the development of the new set of phrasal categories. A particular benefit of Spring 2019 is that the Bulgarian project co-director will be in residence in Berkeley during February, which will allow students direct access to the international aspect of the project.

Data entry of ethnographic and linguistic information
Attend regular meetings (usually every other week) to discuss background, structure, and functioning of the project and to participate in project design

Projected outcome:
Learn about dialectology as a discipline, learn about (and possibly help develop) methods of comparing related linguistic systems and cataloguing ethnographic content, gain experience in digital humanities, learn about / become more familiar with Bulgarian traditional culture and with means for comparing different specific aspects of this culture.

Qualifications: Knowledge of a Slavic language is desirable but not mandatory. Basic knowledge of language structure / linguistics is highly desirable.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

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