Ronelle Alexander, Professor

Closed (1) Bulgarian Dialectology as Living Tradition

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

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 on a limited basis as a beta version since May 2016, and fully open since March 2019. 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 basic annotation sets cover categories traditionally of interest to linguists and ethnographers. But this project has also been developing annotations 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 at the phrase analysis level, they will also be able to take part in the refinement of the ethnographic coding categories, and in helping shape the ongoing work of making the site as user-friendly as possible.

Tasks:
Data entry of linguistic information
Attend regular Zoom 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 but again not mandatory.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: remote

Related website: http://bulgariandialectology.org