RESEARCH PROJECT

1. Phonetics

The phonetics research team completed the following tasks: (a) devised appropriate protocols for the collection of data from six geographic areas under investigation (Athens, Peloponnese, Crete (Heraclion), Thessaly (Larissa), Epirus (Ioannina), Macedonia (Kozani)); (b) organized the field work necessary for the collection of data; (c) provided acoustic, articulatory (EPG and UTI) and perception analyses of the collected data; (d) provided statistical analyses and comparisons among the six dialects under investigation; (e) compared vowel systems across dialects and examined the degree of deviation of dialectal vowels from the corresponding vowels of Standard Modern Greek; (f) systematized the phonetic phenomena in preparation for the glotto-geographic index; (g) contributed to the design and development of educational material for the teaching of dialects; (h) disseminated the findings and theoretical results of our research in journals and conferences.

2. Phonology

 The phonological research team (a) provided thorough descriptions of vowel-related phonological phenomena in Greek dialects, such as: vowel harmony, reduction, insertion, deletion, coalescence; (b) uncovered and examined previously unreported vowel-related phenomena contributing both to Greek and to cross-linguistic/typological phonological literature; (c) examined how the Greek data can be understood theoretically using current phonological models and to what extent they are also typologically informative; (e) delineated the distribution of the phonological phenomena discovered in our project for the purposes of the glotto-geographic index; (f) contributed to the design and development of educational material for the teaching of dialects; (g) disseminated the findings and theoretical results of our research.

3. Technology and education

The technology and education team created a speech corpus of dialect data, organized in a web-accessible database. Its main purpose is twofold: (a) present the distribution of the phonological/phonetic phenomena, ease trans-dialectal comparison and facilitate future analysis of the data in other linguistic areas (i.e., syntactic, morphological, etc) and (b) promote the addition of material and results from future research and thus continually enrich the database. The database contains raw speech data, aligned annotations (orthographic transcriptions for all data as well as phonetic transcriptions for part of the data) and metadata related to the speech files. The database is based on open-source tools that can handle multimedia data and permit complex queries combining content and metadata descriptions.

Furthermore, we developed an interactive multimodal platform for storing, indexing and efficiently retrieving Greek dialect information which lays the foundation so as to evolve to a fully functional interactive Greek dialect atlas in the future. In this project we focus on building the core indexing component of this platform. The index component enables browsing of the processed data which will be accessible through an interactive map with multiple levels of detail.

Finally, to disseminate the results to schools and universities with the purpose of raising awareness of the existence, value and status of Modern Greek dialects, we designed electronic educational material to address instructors and students in schools and institutions of the secondary and tertiary sector. This includes information and training material, such as sample lessons, soundfiles, exercises and games for secondary school pupils, and also more linguistically oriented material for lecturers and students at Universities in Greece.