On 17-18 March 2016, the project Maps and Grammar will organize the workshop Bad Data in Lingusitic Theory. In the workshop we want to discuss how linguistic research should deal with data that does not exactly fit a particular research goal. This involves data which are incomplete, noisy, one-sided or conflicting.
In recent years, the workshop theme has become more important since the volume of linguistic research based on data is growing. The workshop proposal has generated enthousiastic responses. A group of interesting invited speakers intends to present their ideas in the workshop: Paul de Lacy, Paula Fikkert, Paul Kiparsky, Cecilia Poletto, Keren Rice, Carson Schutze, Christina Tortora, Jeroen van Craenenbroeck, Joel Wallenberg and Charles Yang.
Other contributions are welcome. We invite submissions for talks of 30 minutes consisting of abstracts of 2 pages, which should be submitted before the deadline of 1 December 2015. Submission details can be found on the website of the workshop.
On Friday 30 October 2015, Maps & Grammar postdoc Erik Tjong Kim Sang presented his paper Voronoi Diagrams without Boundary Boxes at the Joint International Geoinformation Conference (JIGC) 2015 in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The paper describes a technical feature which he implemented in the dialect mapping tool Arvid: a method for drawing arbitrary dialect maps without requiring the user to define boundaries for the regions that are being studied. The talk elicited several questions, about data collection methods, data interpretation, storing audio interviews and dealing with transition zones. PDFs are available of the paper and the slides of the talk. Further comments are welcome.
In September and October 2015, Maps and Grammar PhD student Nina Ouddeken visited Italy to collect dialect data for her research project. She interviewed 55 dialect speakers in 17 locations in the regions Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. The image to the left shows the regional spread of the visited locations. The main goal of the interviews was to find out the speakers’s pronunciation of the intervocalic s, like for example in the word casa. A first analysis of the results reveals a difference of pronunciation between the two regions for older speakers while difference for younger people seems to become smaller. It will take a few months before the all data have been analysed. The processed data will be an important part of Nina’s research but they will also be made available to the research community.