CRES SUMMER SCHOOL IN LINGUISTIC FIELDWORK AND DOCUMENTATION
University of Rijeka, Croatia
July 4th to July 8th, 2022
Description of the summer school
The CresSSLing summer school offers training in various aspects of linguistic fieldwork and language documentation. It is geared toward graduate and advanced undergraduate students in linguistics, philology and related disciplines interested in gaining specialized knowledge about the principles and methods of linguistic fieldwork and language documentation including annotation and analysis tools for processing and description of language data. Case studies and practical sections of the courses will concentrate on language varieties spoken in Croatia and Southeast Europe, an area with many minority and endangered varieties that are still understudied and not sufficiently known outside of the area. Students will also be able to discuss and work on their own language documentation and description projects.
In its initial year, five different week-long courses will be offered (see course descriptions below):
Essentials of language documentation
Fieldwork in dialectology (with a focus on Croatian regional dialects)
Practical aspects of fieldwork and interaction with communities speaking minority/regional/non-territorial languages
An introduction to Praat and ELAN for field linguists
Textological research (with an emphasis on historical syntax)
Participants will receive a total of 40 hours of instruction over a period of 5 days. There will be two morning and two afternoon sessions. Additional activities may take place in the evenings and one-on-one mentoring sessions with instructors will be possible in order to discuss specific questions or projects. Full attentenance is expected and participants will receive certificates of completion.
The summer school will take place in the beautiful coastal town of Cres on the island of Cres, Croatia, in the newly opened education center Moise Palace, managed by the University of Rijeka’s Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe, located in a historic five-hundred-year-old Renessaince palace. In addition to the classrooms, Moise Palace also offers additional work space, a library and a private courtyard.
Program and Course Descriptions
In 2022, we offer five different courses, two in Croatian and three in English. Each course consists of 10 hours of instruction, spread out over 5 days of the school. Below are short descriptions of the courses.
- Essentials of language documentation*
Instructor: Zvjezdana Vrzić, New York University
This course is an introduction to language documentation, a relatively new linguistic discipline devoted to creating extensive, lasting and multipurpose records of languages, typically, those that are endangered, minority and understudied language varieties. The course covers a range of topics: issues in language endangerment, language attitudes and ideologies held by both speech communities and researchers, the importance of taking into consideration the socio-cultural context, methods and practices in data collection and data analysis, good practices in audio/video recording, various software tools for language documentation, metadata management, project planning and workflow, archiving, research ethics, the relationship between language documentation and revitalization, etc.
- Fieldwork in dialectology (with a focus Croatian regional dialects)*
Instructor: Silvana Vranić, University of Rijeka
This course will concentrate on the methods of data gathering for the study of a particular local dialect, or hierarchically larger varieties, through direct contact with the speakers and within the framework of traditional dialectological research. Participants will learn how to work with speakers in order to record speech samples and conversations and how to use different tools to facilitate data gathering. The preparation of questionnaires, which are among the principal methods of fieldwork, in accordance with particular research goals, the transcription types as well as advantages and disadvantages of various of types of transcription for dialectal speech samples of Croatian regional varieties, and types of analysis and interpretations of the gathered dialect corpora will also be discussed. Emphasis will be placed also on documenting the current state of particular regional varieties and archiving of the speech samples in order to make them accessible to other researchers from different disciplines as well as to a wider audience. The topics of the course will be: theory and methodology of dialect speech data gathering; selection of the research topic and methods; preparation for the fieldwork; gathering dialectal speech samples (audio- and video-recording, archiving of speech samples, conversations and questionnaire responses) in line with the research goals, practical in-class work with speakers, annotation of collected speech samples (different levels of transcription).
- An introduction to Praat and ELAN for field linguists*
Instructor: Keith Langston, University of Georgia
This course is a hands-on introduction to two freely available software tools, Praat and ELAN, which are useful for the annotation and analysis of recorded linguistic data. Both of these tools are very widely used; they are multi-platform (Linux, Mac, Windows) and their file formats are compatible with other software. Students will learn the fundamentals of Praat: how to open, play, and edit audio recordings; how to view spectrograms, pitch and intensity tracks, and formants; how to create a time-aligned transcription using TextGrids; and how to run Praat scripts. We will then turn our focus to ELAN, which allows users to create an unlimited number of annotations for audio and video recordings, organized on multiple layers (tiers). Students will learn how to import and export files in different formats, to create tiers, and to enter annotations.
- Practical aspects of fieldwork and interaction with communities speaking minority/regional/non-territorial languages*
Instructor: Thede Kahl, University of Jena/University of Vienna
This course is an introduction to the practical problems of everyday life of a field researcher and his/her communication with speakers and community representatives. After completing the course, the participants should be better trained to prepare field research. The main questions considered are (a) how to identify suitable tasks and questions right from the start of research, (b) how to act when the expected situation differs considerably from what is actually found in the field, (c) how to deal with disappointments and obstacles during research, and (d) how to use the collected material successfully for further processing. The lecturer has extensive experience in the field of ethnology, linguistics and Balkanology so the course includes numerous examples from Southeast Europe.
- Textological research (with an emphasis on historical syntax)*
Instructor: Diana Stolac, University of Rijeka
The Textological research (with an emphasis on historical syntax) course is conceived as practical work on older texts in Croatian with a theoretical introduction. The introductory part will offer an overview of historical syntactic topics and literature and methodology, as well as stress the importance of documenting obtained results. The first part of practical work consists of a guided analysis of chosen texts and chosen syntactic functions and will also include the syntactico-stylistic aspect. In the second part, all the participants will be given the same texts to analyze in groups, in the third part every participant will be given his/her own text/texts, and in the fourth part the participants will work on texts and topics of their own choosing, especially if they already have a corpus compiled for the purposes of their doctoral dissertation.
The course will equip the participants with the skills necessary to conduct well-structured diachronic and synchronic research and to competently interpret the obtained results, in particular findings about syntactic change.
How to apply for the summer school
Please email us your CV and a short statement of interest (ca. 300 words), as .pdf files, in either English or Croatian. In your statement, please tell us about your current research or research interests and how attending this summer school fits into them.
Upon the review of the received documentation, we will notify you about your acceptance to the summer school within seven days. The maximum number of participants we can accept is 25.
Please email your application materials to us by April 5, 2022 to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost of the summer school and important dates
The cost of the summer school is 200 euros or 1500 HRK for 40 hours of instruction over 5 days.
Upon the notification of acceptance to the school, to confirm their attendance, participants should make payments by bank transfer by April 20, 2022. Please use the following payment information:
Zagrebačka banka d.d.
Please add a note indicating the date of your transfer followed by the number ‘40’: ddmmyyyy-40 (e.g. 04032022-40).
Application deadline: April 5, 2022
Confirmation of acceptance: April 12, 2022
Payment of the registration fee: April 20, 2022
Accommodation and travel
Partipants are expected to secure their own accommodation. However, we are happy to be able to offer a limited number of low-cost lodging options at the nearby Franciscan convent on the first-come-first-serve basis. There are 4 single rooms, 2 double rooms and 2 triple rooms at the disposal. Please contact us by email to reserve this lodging: email@example.com.
For other accommodation options we recommend that you use the usual booking services, such as Arbnb, Booking.com, etc. or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Because the school is taking place at the beginning of the high season in Croatia, we highly recommend that you reserve your accommodation promptly.
Silvana Vranić, University of Rijeka
Zvjezdana Vrzić, New York University
The CresSSLing summer school is coordinated by
Center for Language Research (CLAR), University of Rijeka
Doctoral Program in the History and Dialectology of the Croatian Language, University of Rijeka