News

The programme for the CUSO workshop “Methodological approaches to synchronic and diachronic heritage language data”, to take place at the Université de Lausanne on 16 and 17 February 2018, is now online!

Workshop details can be found here: http://wp.unil.ch/sina/2018-2

 

Guido Seiler and Mark Louden were interviewed about Pennsylvania Dutch and Swiss German spoken in America for a Swissinfo article

Research findings by Guido Seiler and Mark Louden were presented in a Swissinfo article entitled ‘I recognise every word, but I have no idea what you’re saying’, which was published on 1 November 2017.

 

Anita Auer features in the SRF 2 radio programme “Kontext” on 27 October 2017 where she talks about dialect speakers in the diaspora.

You can listen to the radio programme here: https://www.srf.ch/sendungen/kontext/auswandererdialekte-spuren-der-migration

 

Talk by Anita Auer and Alexandra Derungs on “Preserving Swiss Dialect features in the diaspora: The case of New Glarus” on 13 October 2017 at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark).

Anita Auer and Alexandra Derungs have presented their recent research findings on “Preserving Swiss Dialect features in the diaspora: The case of New Glarus” at the Eighth Annual Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas (WILA 8), which took place at the University of Copenhagen from 12-14 October 2017.

 

Talk by Guido Seiler about “Alemannisch im Kontakt: Konvergenz und Divergenz in der Sprachinsel des ‘Shwitzer’ (Indiana, USA)” in Freiburg/Breisgau (Germany).

Guido Seiler presented findings of his research on the language island of the “Shwitzer” at the 19. Arbeitstagung zur alemannischen Dialektologie, which took place at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau from 11-13 October 2017. The abstract of Guido’s talk can be downloaded here: http://paul.igl.uni-freiburg.de/alemtag2017/?Programm

 

Talk by Guido Seiler “On the Emergence of Grammar-Lexicon Mixed Languages: The Case of Amish Shwitzer” on 11 September 2017 at the SLE 2017 at the University of Zurich.

The abstract for the talk can be found here: http://sle2017.eu/downloads/BOOK%20OF%20ABSTRACTS%20final.pdf

 

Anita Auer features in the SRF1 radio programme “Schnabelweid” on 7 September 2017 where she talks about the use of Swiss German and English in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

You can listen to the radio programme here: https://www.srf.ch/sendungen/schnabelweid/er-het-e-pfiife-gsmoukt

 

Talk by Guido Seiler on “Borrowing a grammar without speaking the language? The case of Amish Shwitzer” at the University of Texas San Antonio

As part of the workshop “New historical perspectives on non-dominant speakers as agents of contact-induced language change” (ICHL 23, University of Texas San Antonio, US), Guido Seiler has talked about the language of the Amish Shwitzer.

 

Talk by Anita Auer on “Preserving Swiss Dialects in the Diaspora: The Social Life of a Wisconsin Language Island”, 7 April 2017 in New York.

Anita Auer is giving a plenary talk on Preserving Swiss Dialects in the Diaspora: The Social Life of a Wisconsin Language Island on 7 April 2017 from 6:45 – 8:00 at New York University. The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be given as part of the HiSoN 2017 Conference.

Abstract of the talk:

When many people from different nations left Europe for North America during the so-called “Age of Mass Migration” (1850-1920s), a great number of Swiss also left their homeland in search of betterment in North America. A Swiss settlement of particular interest is New Glarus, Wisconsin as (a) it started as a colony (which is atypical for Switzerland), and (b) the town has retained its Swiss identity – being known as America’s Little Switzerland – until today. Usually, historical sociolinguists can only rely on surviving letters and diaries by migrants in order to get a partial insight into their language use, the maintenance of the homeland variety, and the possible shift to the new language. In the case of New Glarus, however, recordings from the 1960s of heritage speakers born as early as the late 1900s (now held in the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies) allow us to better trace the development of a Swiss heritage dialect, as well as processes such as dialect leveling, attrition, and gradual language shift in the diaspora. In this paper, I will thus shed light on the development of a Swiss German dialect in the diaspora through a linguistic study of early and more recent recordings, historical documents, and the cultural memory of “Neuglarner” today.

Talk on Shwitzer Language of Adams County, IN by Guido Seiler on 1 April 2017 in Madison, WI

On 1 April 2017, Guido Seiler is going to give a talk on Language Structure as a Mirror of Social Structure? The Case of the Shwitzer Language of Adams County, IN at the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Details can be found on the poster on the right.

 

Anita Auer and Alexandra Derungs discussed the fate of Glarnertüütsch in North America in Glarus (CH)

Anita Auer and Alexandra Derungs discussed the fate of Glarnertüütsch in North America during a talk in Hotel Glarnerhof, Glarus (CH) on Sunday, 29 January 2017 at 3pm. This Glarnertüütsch-Stubete, which was organised by the Academia Glaronensis, was attended by many dialect enthusiasts, and it also received some media attention in the local papers:

Südostschweiz Zeitung 28 January 2017 and 30 January 2017

Glarner Woche 1 February 2017

 

CROSS grant for our project “Multimodal Linguistic Crowdsourcing: Tracing Swiss Heritage Speakers’ Identities in North America”

Anita Auer, Arix 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.

 

Anita Auer and Alexandra Derungs feature in a Swissinfo podcast

Following their recent field trip to Wisconsin (November 2016) to interview Swiss heritage speakers and to unearth some old letters, newspapers, travel reports, etc., Anita and Alex themselves were interviewed about their fieldwork experiences by Jo Fahy (Swissinfo). The podcast is available here: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/podcast_language-connects-swiss-migrants-to-home/42785380

 

Jonathan Kasstan looks at efforts how to keep Francoprovençal alive

Our expert on Francoprovençal in the SINA research network – Jonathan Kasstan – discusses efforts to keep Francoprovençal alive in this interesting article: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/opinion_what-future-for-francoproven%C3%A7al-/41754666

 

Mark Louden and Guido Seiler feature in an article on “The Inter-Amish Language Barriers of Indiana”

Read this interesting article about the Swiss Amish of Adams County, Indiana, and the important role that yodeling plays in their language use: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-interamish-language-barriers-of-indiana