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Beta Code  (Quote)



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Code page  (Quote)



Tags: Dokumentation Kooperation



Data access layer  (Quote)



Tags: Kooperation Publikation Forschungslabor



Digital humanities  (Quote)

The project VerbaAlpina has been planned from the beginning with regard to suitability for the web as it wants to contribute to the transferring of established arts traditions (more precisely of geolinguistics), to the digital humanities.
This means as follows:
(1) The empirical basis of the research consists in data (cf. Schöch 2013), e.g. in digitally codified and structured units or at least in units that can be structured. The data the project is dealing with are partly already published data which are digitised secondarily (as e.g. the older material out of atlases), but partly also new data which still have to be collected. With regard to the relevant concepts the new data shall be as extensive as possible. Therefore, the method is quantitative and to a great extent inductive.
(2) The research communication takes place on the medial conditions of the internet. This allows to intertwine hypertextually different media (writing, picture, video and sound). Furthermore, the persons who are participating in the project either as researchers (especially as project partner) and/or as informants can communicate and cooperate with each other continuously.
(3) The interested researchers are offered to collaborate on the development of this collaborative research platform based on the project. This perspective is useful and gets the project further at least in two respects: it permits to integrate different sites and to make progress with the combination of information technology and linguistic geography by using public resources, i.e. without being forced to fall back upon the (legally and economically difficult) support of private IT companies.
(4) The knowledge which is relevant for the project can also continuously be accumulated and modified for a fairly long time although the guarantee of a lasting availability is still difficult to realise technically (cf. to this the important research infrastructure of CLARIN-D http://www.clarin-d.de/en/). Anyhow, the publication of the results on real media (books, CDs, DVDs) is no fundamental request anymore. Nevertheless, a secondary print option is set up, a solution the online lexicography offers occasionally, as e.g. the exemplary Tesoro della Lingua Italiana delle Origini.

(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)

Tags: Kooperation Crowdsourcing



Etymology  (Quote)

The uncovering of linguistic strata, the stratigraphy, presupposes the etymologisation. The etymologic comment starts from the basic type and pursues a triple goal:
- determination of the lexematic basis' language of origin;
- explanation of the unity of all types which share the basic type. The regularities of historical phonetics and the semantic plausibility of the underlying concept relations are crucial for this.
- reconstruction of borrowing paths if the basic type is spread in several language areas; as soon as the language of the etymon on the one hand and of the informant on the other hand do not match, language contact is automatically established.

(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)

Tags: Dokumentation Kooperation



Geocoding  (Quote)

Geocoding is a fundamental ordering criterion of the data which are administrated by VerbaAlpina; degrees of latitude and longitude are used for geocoding. The exactness of this coding varies depending on the data type; VerbaAlpina aims at a coding as exact as possible, to within a metre. In the case of linguistic data from atlases and dictionaries, it is generally only possible to do an approximate coding according to the place name. However, in the case of e.g. archaeological data a geocoding to within a meter is actually possible. Spots, lines (as streets, rivers etc.) and surfaces can be saved. For the geocoding, the so-called WKT format (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well-known_text) is essentially used, which is transferred to a specific MySQL format in the VA database by means of the function geomfromtext() (https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.7/en/gis-wkt-functions.html and is saved like this. The output in WKT result is done by means of the MySQL function astext().
The reference grid of the geocoding is the network of municipalities in the Alpine region, which can be output as surface or as spots, as required. The basis is the courses of the municipalities’ border from circa 2014, which VerbaAlpina received from its partner "Alpine Convention". A constant update of these data (which can often change due to administrative reforms) is unnecessary because they form merely a geographical reference frame. The spot depiction of the municipality grid is deduced in an algorithmic way from the municipalities’ borders and therefore secondary. The calculated municipality spots represent the geometric midpoints of the municipality surfaces and mark only by case theirs centre. If necessary, all data can be projected individually or in an accumulated way on the calculated municipality spot. This is the case for linguistic data out of atlases and dictionaries.
Additionally, there will be a honeycombed grid which is quasi geocoded: it portrays in fact the approximate position of the municipalities to each other, but it assigns at the same time an idealised surface with each time the same form and size to each municipality territory. By doing so, two alternative methods of mapping are offered to the users. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and both offer a certain suggestive potential because of their figurativeness. The topographic depiction gives a better insight into the concrete spatiality (with its very special ground profile, single transitions, valley courses, inaccessible valley exits etc.) because of its precision. The honeycomb map in comparison allows more abstracted visualisations of the data as it balances the sizes of municipality surfaces and agglomeration resp. scattered settlements. This is especially useful for quantitative maps because perceiving the size of the surface the impression of quantitative weight is instinctively created.


(auct. Thomas Krefeld | Stephan Lücke – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)


Tags: Dokumentation Kooperation Crowdsourcing



Informant  (Quote)

The expression informant is used technically by VerbaAlpina: it unites two different things depending on the source. In the linguistic atlases, as a rule all linguistic data are transparent up to and including the speaker. In the database, these informants can be identified by an individual number (ID). They are furthermore chronocoded by the year of the data collection and geocoded by the place of the data collection. In geocodifiable dictionaries in comparison it is – as a rule – impossible to identify concrete speakers. However, VerbaAlpina assigns fictitious informants to this kind of sources too because of reasons due to the database. Each informant is assigned to a language family. This language assignment passes from the informant himself to all other linguistic data deriving from him.

(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)

Tags: Kooperation Crowdsourcing



Interlingual geolinguistic  (Quote)

It is one of the aims of this portal to bring out the forming power of language contact and especially its ethnolinguistic conditioning in the development of the Alpine language area. The conception of the database will allow depicting the recorded loan words also quantitatively in their local accumulation. For they result automatically when the affiliation of the informant to one of the three language families does not match the affiliation of the etymon. There are three language families that form the modern Alpine region in the form of dialect continua, which are of different size and especially of different degrees of distinction. The distribution areas of the three language families cannot be depicted on specific states cf. actual language areas. Germanic is represented by Alemannic and Bavarian varieties which are part of the pluricentric German language. The common reference to the Swiss, German and Austrian standard variety is, however, not longer given for some of the Walser and Old Bavarian (Cimbrian) language islands in the Southern Alps. Unlike the German-speaking area the varieties of the Romance continuum can be classified as belonging to several languages. Besides French and Italian, it is about – in accordance with the political recognition in Switzerland and Italy – Occitan, Franco-Provençal, Romansh, Ladin and Friulian. The Slavonic language family is represented by Slovenian dialects that are spoken in Slovenia, but also in several Italian and Austrian municipalities. It is not the aim of VerbaAlpina to describe the dialects in the Alpine area as completely as possible, to bring out the local or regional dialect borders and to represent the region as a jigsaw of varieties. Thanks to its extensive conception, the goal of VerbaAlpina is rather to make distinguishable the (especially lexical) features which are spread over the single dialect and language borders. By doing so, the ethnolinguistic common ground will become evident.





Dialects form complete linguistic systems. This means that, when investigating these three "genetically" different continua jointly, language contact is studied in form of an interlingual geolinguistic.

(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)

Tags: Dokumentation Kooperation



Sources  (Quote)

In VerbaAlpina, we bring together very different sources. On the one hand, we are dealing with already published sources (atlases, dictionaries, monographs of single places) and with new sources, which have been exploited by the project itself for the first time, on the other hand. Part of these new data are collected by member of staffs, e.g. by Beatrice Colcuc, partly the crowd, i.e. individual and not personally known speakers, contributes these new data. For VerbaAlpina, only sources which deliver already geocoded or at least geocodable linguistic data, are worthy of consideration. These data, however, have to be treated systematically in a different way against the background of the typification. Utterances which are phonetically exactly transcribed are marked as "single instance" by VerbaAlpina. It makes sense to group these single instances according to certain criteria ('to type'). Data which the source offers in orthographic form is regarded as alredy typed: this form of notation

Tags: Dokumentation Kooperation Crowdsourcing



Stratigraphy  (Quote)

The Alps have been an area of diverse language contacts since prehistoric times, which result from completely different strata constellations (cf. Krefeld 2003). In principle, languages which are in contact in an area because there are (more or less) bilingual speakers or even speaker communities are called adstrata. If a basic type is only spread in one specific area, so e.g. in the Alps, and is not present in the relative language families, the borrowing direction and the language of origin is often not clear (cf. the basic type rom. baita / German Beiz, Beisl).
If the language of origin of the borrowing is not longer spoken in the distribution area (or in a part of it), there are two possible constellations. 1) In the case of substratum the language of origin (substratum language) had been spoken in the distribution area before its tradition continuity finished and the actual language started to prevail. Romance is a substratum language of the whole German- and Slovenian-speaking Alpine region. Substratum words presuppose language change. Nevertheless, they often are characterised by extraordinary regional or local continuity.
2) In the case of superstratum, the language of origin has been used over a certain period of time in the distribution area without becoming established permanently. So, in parts of the Alpine region where today Romance languages are spoken Germanic superstrata (Gothic, Lombardic) prevailed temporarily after the collapse of the Roman infrastructure. And in Slovenia, German had the same role during the Habsburg period.
Quite different scenarios took place for the three language families. With regard to the importance of language contact for the history of the language area, it is important to consider the sequence of the borrowing: are Romance loanwords in the Germanic and the Slavonic language area substratum words with regional tradition continuity since Antiquity or are they more recent borrowings due to adstratum? The same question has to be asked – mutatis mutandis – for the German loanwords in the Romance-speaking area and the Slavonic loanwords in the German-speaking area.



Borrowings are a reliable indicator of historic acculturation processes. Therefore, a quantitative representation is appropriate which allows depicting the relative frequency of the verified borrowings localised precisely.

(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)


Tags: Dokumentation Kooperation Forschungslabor



Synoptic map  (Quote)

This function allows the users to select among the present single maps and fix them on synoptic combination maps according to their own interests. So, the spreading areas of any linguistic and extralinguistic feature can be visualised in connection with each other. At the same time, there is the possibility to fix these synoptic maps in zoom levels when a local context shall be demonstrated, as e.g. the [Karwendel|Karte:Karwendel]] or the dialectal continuum between Occitan, Franco-Provençal and Piedmontese in the Western Alps.

(auct. Thomas Krefeld – trad. Susanne Oberholzer)

Tags: Dokumentation Kooperation Forschungslabor