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Chapter 8

William A. Kretzschmar Jr. and Merja Stenroos

Part I, Section on Evidence
8. Evidence from surveys and atlases in the history of the English language
Description: additional information about the Linguistic Atlas Project

The Linguistic Atlas Project
Our most recent achievement for the Linguistic Atlas Project is to digitize nearly 8000 hours of reel-to-reel tapes, all of the LAP interview records still existing from the beginnings of field recording around 1960 up to the present day, with funding from NEH. Pilot work for this project in 2009 created the Digital Archive of Southern Speech (DASS; 64 selected interviews from the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, nearly 400 hours of black and white speech across the South, published on portable USB drives); DASS has now been picked up for republication by the Linguistic Data Consortium, which paves the way for eventual publication of much more LAP data by the LDC, and will remain available for purchase from the Atlas office (flyer attached). The graphical interface for DASS is now being converted for use in a new version of the LAP Web site that can accommodate an anticipated 100,000 MP3 files of American speech; it exists in beta form and has been presented live at conferences; we expect the whole new site to go live by the end of 2011. Users who would like to have copies of the sound files in WAV format (which has files too large to transmit over the Internet), can get them for the cost of reproduction by writing to me (William Kretzschmar) at Georgia. This work preserves for generations to come the sound of American English at the end of the twentieth century. But it is not the end: we expect to see continuous development of new tools on the Atlas Web site, including new expanded GIS tools and a chance for users to contribute transcriptions of the sound files to establish a text corpus to accompany the sound.

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