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Trends in Phonetics and Phonology

Studies from German-speaking Europe

Adrian Leemann, Marie-José Kolly, Stephan Schmid and Volker Dellwo

This volume was inspired by the 9th edition of the Phonetik & Phonologie conference, held in Zurich in October 2013. It includes state of the art research on phonetics and phonology in various languages and from interdisciplinary contributors. The volume is structured into the following eight sections: segmentals, suprasegmentals, articulation in spoken and sign language, perception, phonology, crowdsourcing phonetic data, second language speech, and arts (with inevitable overlap between these areas).
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Dialäkt Äpp: Communicating dialectology to the public – crowdsourcing dialects from the public

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Abstract

The smartphone application Dialäkt Äpp capitalizes on the Swiss’ public interest in dialectology and features the following core functionalities: (1) users indicate their pronunciation variants of 16 words and the application predicts their local dialect, (2) users record their pronunciation of the same 16 words, which are then uploaded on a server and displayed on an interactive map. In this sense the app offers an auditory journey across the Swiss dialectal landscape. The primary goal of the free iOS application is science communication to a broad public: Dialäkt Äpp is appealing to the user and has been downloaded quite frequently (> 82 000, February 2015). This novel approach also benefits the researcher: New media allow for new data collection methods in a number of fields. In linguistics, for example, crowdsourced data has mainly been obtained through online surveys. With Dialäkt Äpp, we present a novel method of crowdsourcing linguistic variation by means of a smartphone application: with the users’ consent, we obtain pronunciation data of 16 words for thousands of dialect speakers originating from all over German-speaking Switzerland. This corpus bears potential for studies on regional variation, linguistic change, and population statistics, the latter of which has implications for forensic phonetics.

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