Anita Auer, Aris Xanthos (UNIL) and Daniel Gatica-Perez (EPFL) have been awarded a CROSS (Collaborative Research on Science and Society) grant for their project « Multimodal Linguistic Crowdsourcing: Tracing Swiss Heritage Speakers’ Identities in North America ».
This project aims to capture the language use and cultural practices of Swiss German emigrants in Wisconsin (US) by way of a multimodal crowdsourcing app. The reflections of Swiss identities abroad – from the nineteenth century to the present day – can be found in different modes such as emigrant letters, early printed newspapers, diaries, recordings of mid-20th-century interviews as well as interviews carried out today, and the surroundings/landscape, e.g. Swiss German signs, Swiss architecture. The purpose-built app will allow the so-called “heritage speakers” to capture all of these different aspects of their Swiss heritage, which can be done by taking geo-localized pictures, recording themselves or others, and filling in questionnaires. The researchers will, with the help of the heritage speakers, propose quality guidelines for the different processes (data collection, curation, and labeling) that are involved in the crowdsourcing part of the project.