This book is useful for the study of the sociolinguistics of German, English-German bilingualism, general linguistics, and the methods of linguistic fieldwork.
Chapter 15: BAG XI: Toward Human : Canine Communication
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BAG XI: Toward Human : Canine Communication*
Now in its twenty-seventh year, the Bay Area German Linguistics Fieldwork Project (BAG) has undertaken with its current study another paradigm change, this time a bold one venturing into the realm of non- human communication, specifically that of dogs and how they communicate with native German humans. Accordingly, in Fall 2008 the BAG XI Project began by devising a three-part fieldwork questionnaire with the aim of soliciting hard specific data reflective of human : dog communication. The questionnaire and interviews were conducted in German in 2009. Gesture in human to human verbal exchanges is held by some (cf. e.g., Korte 1997:26) to be even as high as over 70% of the message. Common sense dictated that we include gesture components in our questionnaire. Thus Part I asks informants for the words and for the gestures they would direct toward their dog in ten given German scenarios. Part II asks informants for the sounds and for the gestures their dog would make in ten given German scenarios. Part III asks informants to indicate their preference between two putatively synonymous common commands, listed by dog schools as standard. Part III also asks informants to suggest substitutes for the proposed eight standard commands. Twelve human informants and twelve dog informants participated, the latter anthropomorphically, that is, via the eyes and ears of their human surrogates. The wealth of BAG XI data allow multifaceted insights. The...