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LINGUIST List 22.4530

Sat Nov 12 2011


Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <brentlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Heike Meier , FRIAS Launches eWAVE

Message 1: FRIAS Launches eWAVE
Date: 11-Nov-2011
From: Heike Meier <heike.meierfrias.uni-freiburg.de>
Subject: FRIAS Launches eWAVE
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FRIAS -- the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies -- and the Max-
Planck-Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) proudly
announce the availability of a fascinating new open access online tool
which can be exploited both in research and teaching on the grammars
of varieties of English worldwide:

eWAVE -- the electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English, edited by
Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin Lunkenheimer.

eWAVE was designed and compiled at the Freiburg Institute for
Advanced Studies (FRIAS) and the English Department of the
University of Freiburg, Germany, between 2008 and 2011. eWAVE is
an interactive database on morphosyntactic variation in spontaneous
spoken English mapping 235 features from about a dozen domains of
grammar in 48 varieties of English (traditional dialects, high-contact
mother-tongue Englishes, and indigenized second-language
Englishes) and 26 English-based Pidgins and Creoles in eight
Anglophone world regions (Africa, Asia, Australia, British Isles,
Caribbean, North America, Pacific, and the South Atlantic; see here for
a list). It was compiled from descriptive materials, naturalistic corpus
data, and native speaker knowledge by a team of 80 contributors, all
leading experts in their fields, directed by Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin
Lunkenheimer. eWAVE is unique not only in its coverage and user-
friendliness, but also in being an open access resource. As such it has
the potential for serving both as a teaching tool in academic teaching
around the world and as an indispensable research tool by specialists
in many different fields of linguistics, including creolistics, dialectology,
dialect syntax, language change, language typology, sociolinguistics,
second language acquisition, and the study of World Englishes and
learner Englishes.

What eWAVE can do for you:

eWAVE facilitates the investigation of global-scale patterns of
morphosyntactic variation in English and helps answering questions
like the following:
- Which features are most/least widespread across varieties of English
- How many varieties of English worldwide share feature X?
- Is feature X restricted to or characteristic of a particular part of the
English-speaking world?
- Is feature X restricted to or characteristic of a particular group of
- Does variety A have feature X?
- In which area of grammar does variety A differ most from variety B?

The information required to answer questions of this kind can be found
in the central parts of eWAVE: the varieties index, the features index,
and the individual variety and feature profiles. These combine
searchable catalogues of varieties and of morphosyntactic features
with interactive maps, and allow you to explore in detail the distribution
of features within and across varieties of English and English-based
Pidgins and Creoles worldwide (see the help pages for more details).
Ultimately, the information provided in eWAVE can also be used for the
investigation of more general questions, such as the following: Which
features generally are characteristic of a particular variety type (e.g. L2
varieties)? In which domain of grammar is there most/least
heterogeneity/homogeneity among varieties of English worldwide? Are
English-based pidgins and creoles as a group significantly different
from other varieties in terms of morphosyntax?

eWAVE was partly designed and entirely programmed in collaboration
with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig),
and is also hosted by the MPI. Since eWAVE is designed as an
evolving interactive tool, we are planning to have annual updates.

eWAVE can be accessed from TODAY, November 18, 2011 onwards.
Please visit: http://www.ewave-atlas.org

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

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