Get to know your colleagues 2: Hannah Booth, Melissa Farasyn, Chiara Monaco, Tim Ongenae and Laurentia SchreiberShow content
Get to know your colleagues 2: Hannah Booth, Melissa Farasyn, Chiara Monaco, Tim Ongenae and Laurentia Schreiber
Thu06Jun20192:30 pmroom 110.037 (Blandijnberg 2, ground floor)
Chris De Wulf (Zürich): "DoDO – Development of Dutch Orthography 1250-1400"Show content
In my talk, I will discuss my planned research on the Development of Dutch Orthography and I hope to exchange ideas on Data Enrichment for the first stage of the project. This first stage will take place within a research visit at Gent University.
The main scope of the project proposed here is the description of unguided (not-steered) development of writing systems for West Germanic dialects based on the Latin alphabet. It will render this from diatopic and diachronic grapheme research on Middle Dutch local charters.
Dutch diachronic orthography research has been the focus of research in the last decennium, however mostly focusing on Early Modern Dutch and later stages, and usually in the context of standardisation. That means it is limited to how orthographic development of a language operates within the parameters of a society that is aware of and pays lip service to a supra-regional, consciously and unconsciously superimposed or pursued variety. In my proposed research, I will focus on the period before Early Modern Dutch and the standardisation processes, and ask the question: “How do scribes cope in writing with the Latin alphabet in their dialects when there is no prescribed standard?”To answer this, the writings of scribes who operate in local writing systems, i.e. written dialect, need to be considered, and this should be done with manuscripts, e.g. handwritten administrative texts of local importance only, such as local charters.
Preliminary research suggests that in case of vowel grapheme systems, the aptness of singular graphemes is gradable and can be described in terms of the phonological distinctive features they may convey accurately (De Wulf 2019, in preparation). This stems from the fact that some graphemes are used to convey many more historical phonemes (i.e. West Germanic allophones) than others, and which graphemes these are, also varies from dialect to dialect. There is a clear indication that vowel grapheme systems in the Eastern dialects contain less accurate graphemes, since more of the historical vowel phonemes have in fact evolved into separate phonemes. My working hypothesis is that an implicational scale of phonological features can be established (per dialect or maybe more generally, dialect region), which means that certain features are to be prioritised in writing systems. This should be investigated for vowel as well as consonant graphemes.
The here proposed project will have to clarify whether this holds through for all types of graphemes, and whether this variety is maintained throughout medieval writing in the period 1250-1400.
As the main deliverable I will provide an open access and electronically published diachronic grapheme atlas with commentary.