The article “Sollte dies mein Geschreibsel meine theure Heymath erreichen”: Linguistic variation in the diary of a nineteenth-century Swiss German migrant” by Ladina Knüsli (UNIL) was published in the Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics 5/2 (2019; special issue on Historical heritage language ego-documents: From home, from away, and from below, edited by Joshua R. Brown, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire)!
Increasing migration from the nineteenth century onwards has led to the production of letters and travel diaries that allowed migrants to stay in touch with their home country. Taking the perspective of ‘language history from below’, this paper focuses on a Swiss variety of written German, as used in the diary of Matthias Dürst, and its status in relation to the standardization of written German, the local dialect, and the new majority language English. The study is couched in pre-immigration socio-economic and educational history. The paper systematically analyzes orthographic and morphosyntactic variation, as well as lexical use that are compared to the findings of Elspaß’s (2005. Sprachgeschichte von unten: Untersuchungen zum geschriebenen Alltagsdeutsch im 19. Jahrhundert. Tübingen: Niemeyer) study on German migrant letters. As the results show, the text contains some influences of dialect, especially concerning diminutives and the lexicon. Moreover, the findings reveal a gradual exposure to English as the new majority language, thus settling within the focus of this special issue on Germanic languages in contact with English. The study of the diary proves once again how valuable ego-documents, and also heritage language ego-documents, are for the field of historical sociolinguistics.
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: https://wp.unil.ch/sina/2018-2
Naomi Nagy and Jonathan Kasstan participated in the workshop “Entre Europe et Amérique du Nord: Regards croisés sur le francoprovençal” at the Centre d’Etudes Francoprovençales René Willien, Saint-Nicolas, Vallée d’Aoste on 11 November 2017.
Workshop details can be found here: http://www.centre-etudes-francoprovencales.eu/cef/index.cfm/actualites/conference-annuelle-2017-saint-nicolas-11-novembre-2017-entre-europe-et-amerique-du-nord-regards-croises-sur-le-francoprovencal.html
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.
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:
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