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Databases and language change

INTAS I
 

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION
OF CO-OPERATION WITH SCIENTISTS FROM THE
INDEPENDENT STATES OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION
 
FINAL REPORT 1995-1998
 
THE USE OF ACOUSTIC DATABASES IN THE
STUDY OF LANGUAGE CHANGE


1. Project title:

THE USE OF ACOUSTIC DATABASES
IN THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE CHANGE

Duration in months: 36 
Starting date: 1 January 1995

Project co-ordinator:

Name/surname: Dr. T. de Graaf
Organisation:  Groningen University
Department:  Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts
Address:  P.O. Box 716
City:   9700 AS Groningen
Country:  Netherlands
Telephone:  NL: +31-50-3635982
Telefax:  NL: +31-50-3636855
E-mail: tdegraaf(a)fa.knaw.nl

2. Objectives of the Project

 The project aims - in continuation of collaboration between western and Russian institutes - at studying ethnic minorities in the fields of linguis-tics, phonetics and information technology.
 The study of ethnic minorities will take place with the help of historical sound recordings which are stored in archives in Saint-Peters-burg. These recordings contain valua-ble informa-tion on speech, extinct dialects and languages which are not only important for historical and cultural reasons, but also because they directly show earlier stages of languages and their historical development.

3. Research Activities in the project period 1995-1998

3.1 Description of the research activities

 In general, the research activities have been carried out in accor-dance with those described in the work programme of the INTAS co-operation agreement.
 In co-operation with the Vienna Phonogrammarchiv, the Institute for Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (the Pushkinsky Dom) has completed the copying of the Zhirmunsky material from Edison wax recordings (discs) onto modern sound carriers by the end of 1996. This work has been carried out with the help of a special device in the Vienna Phono-grammarchiv. In the process of the work the quality of the recordings has been estimated; 70% of them had acceptable quality and were later re-recor-ded and used for further analysis.
 A collection of articles "The Archives of the Languages of Russia" has been published. It contains articles which reflect the results of the co-operation of research-ers from different countries and which are of principal importance for the development of the project. A second volume with the same title is in preparation and will appear in 1998.
 In 1996 the special device for recording the wax cylinders, built in Vienna, has been delivered to St. Petersburg, and  installed in the Push-kinsky Dom. With this device we can re-record sound material from all kinds of wax cylinders, of which more than 10.000 copies are stored in the Pushkinsky Dom. In this way the reconstruction work of old recordings is possi-ble on the most advanced technical level which can only be compared to the level of the the Phonogram-m Archiv in Vienna and to the archives of the BBC in London.
 Work on the development and the construction of the architecture and functions of the database for the archival recordings has been carried out. It resulted in the realization of two versions of the database (see below). The inner structure of the material in the database was deve-loped.
 The filling of the database with the materials from Zhirmunsky's collection of German folk songs and Russian dialects from the Sound Archive of the Institute of the Russian Litera-ture took place. A CD ROM on the Zhirmun-sky Collection has been prepared; in this way the research groupe in Saint-Petersburg got familiar with new relevant techniques.
 Sound files (digitized sound material) with accompanying texts and commentaries appended to them were introduced into the database. The database developed for the archival material was adapted to its use for the Russian material.
 The research on the development of a universal acous-tic database for the storage and study of phonetically representative material continued. The aim of this new project is the further development of the prototype for the storage and description of different sound material from isolated sounds to texts.
 Recor-dings on wax cylinders and discs from S.D. Magid's collecti-on of Yiddish material and those on wax discs from the collection of Beregovsky were tested for their quality. They have been demon-strated to specialists in the field in order to get a clear idea about the importance of the whole collection of old recordings in the Pushkinsky Dom. This Magid collection is very valua-ble.
 The written document "Ballada v Evreiskom Fol'k-lore", a manuscript by S.D. Magid has been discovered in the archives of the Pushkinsky Dom. It has been studied by specialists and compared to the sound recordings made by Magid.
 A further auditory analysis of the newly discovered recordings of Russian dialects and Siberian languages and the evaluation of their quality took place; their relation with the written materials in the archives was investigated. Also for this material the filling of the database continued and the analysis of the state of the Archives of the Northern dialects has been carried out.
 A catalogue of the sound materials (more than 500 pages) of the Northern Russian dialects, languages of Siberia and the Far East from the collection of the Pushkinsky Dom Sound Archive has been prepared for publication.

3.2 Results

The results of the project have been discussed at several meetings in St.Petersburg and Vienna and have been reported at various conferences. They are reflected in publications, proceedings of conferences and in the collections of articles in the books "Archives of the Languages of Russia". The first volume of this series of books has been published in 1996; the second volume will appear in 1998.
The identification of Zhirmunsky's recordings (referring to the Ukraine region) has been completed. This amounts to more than 40% of the whole collection. Part of the identified material has been studied, the results of the study have been reported at conferences and will be publis-hed by Prof. N. Svetozarova in a book with the title "The History of the Zhirmunsky Collection". V.M.Zhirmunsky's collection of German folk songs has been published on CD-ROM.
The re-recording of wax discs from Beregovsky's collection took place. A collection of wax discs has been transferred onto modern sound carriers and provides ve-ry interesting material for specialists of Jewish folklore.
The study of Russian dialects, performed within the framework of the INTAS project, has been supported by the Russian Humanitarian Fund for Scientific Research (spring 1996), which indicates its importance.
A collection of the "Tales of the Russian North" appeared in "The Russian Phonetic Fund Bulletin" nr. N6 (ISSN 0937-7492), Saint-Petersburg-Bo-chum, 1997.
A CD ROM  on the "Tales of the Russian North"  was prepared.
Two versions of the Database have been developed:
1.LDB 2.01 (Standard) - for use on the CD ROM;
2.LDB 2.01 (Pro)- for storing and editing the database recor-dings.
The material from Zhirmunsky's collection and the tales of the Russian North have been introduced into the database. The publication of the sound archives on CD ROM with a Short User's Manual had opened access to them for specialists in phone-tics, folklore, ethnolinguistics, ethnomusico-logy etc.
Our database includes now not only material from Zhirmunsky's archive, but also a large amount of Russian dialect material. In relation with this topic the collaboration with Bochum has resulted in new publications and in a field work expedition to the Russian populati-on of Northern Yakutia.
A phonetic seminar with specialists in Finno-Ugric languages has been held in Saint-Petersburg, where the results of the INTAS project and related work have been reported. The recordings of specific languages were compared to the present day data of the languages involved.
In Groningen information on the work in Phonetics and Ethnolinguis-tics related to the INTAS project has been added to the existing INTERNET presentation of the Groningen Arcic Center and the Department of Linguis-tics. There also a number of other relevant INTERNET sources with United Resource Locator, summary and additional comments pages can be found.
See: www.let.rug.nl/~degraaf  and www.let.rug.nl/arctic.
The possibilities of an INTERNET connection for Saint-Petersburg were discussed with the head of the INTERNET service in St.Petersburg University. A future project will realize the further INTERNET presentati-on of the results and provide a home page for the Department of Phonetics of Saint-Petersburg University.

3.3 Applications of the results

The two versions of the database for old recordings

  • LDB 2.01 (Standard) - for the use on the CD ROM and
  • LDB 2.01 (Pro)-for storing and editing the database recor-dings

have been developed by Dr. P.Skrelin at the Department of Phonetics within the INTAS project. They contain programs which can also be used for the organization of ANY type of material to be studied (texts or sound recordings) and can serve as a very effective tool for specialists in various fields of linguistic and ethnological research.
 The results of the project, in particular the publication of sound archives has opened the possibility for their extensive application in the teaching process at the Department of Philology and the Department of Phonetics of St.Petersburg University and the Pushkinsky Dom (Institute of the Russian Literature). The Department of the History of Russian Literature and the Department of Phonetics have opened a new specialization in Russian Folklore Studies for undergraduate and graduate students.
The publication of sound archives on CD ROM with a Short User's Manual has opened access to them for specialists in phonetics, folklore, ethnoliguistics, ethnomusi-cology and other fields.
The research on the development of a universal acoustic database for the storage and study of the phonetically representative material was supported by a grant from the Russian Humanitarian Fund for Scientific Research (April 1996): "The Study of Changes in Phonetics of Russian Speech" (N 96-04-06247). The aim of this new project
is the further development of the prototype for the storage and description of different sound material - from isolated sounds to texts.
The collaboration with Bochum (Dr.Ch.Sappok) has led to the development of new methods for comparative studies of literary and dialectal speech. The recorded research material was segmented and selected for auditory analysis, which was perfor-med with a computer program, specially developed for this purpose .
Research on the following subjects have been proposed as a follow-up activity for undergraduate students of the Department of Phonetics of St.Petersburg University:

  • The Interaction between the Russian and the Komi Languages on the Phonetic Level;
  • Two Languages or Two Dialects? (on the material of the Mari Language) 
  • Acoustical Characteristics of the Mordva Sounds.

Great interest exists for the recordings on Siberian languages, in particular from the side of Japanese research institutes. A Japanese catalogue of these recordings has been made and has been sent to Japanese colleagues.
Further research plans have been made with specialists in Finno-Ugric languages, with American colleagues at Berkeley University and with Japanese specialists. During guest lectures by Dr De Graaf in California and Japan and at a few international conferences the results of the INTAS report have also been reported.
Dr. T. de Graaf obtained a Fulbright Scholarship for work in Berkeley (Cal.) which is directly related to the results of the INTAS project. In the period April - September 1998 he will compare the use of acoustic data in the study of minor langua-ges in California with the situation in Asian Russia.
In 1998 the University of Chiba (Japan) will organize field work expeditions to the minorities of the Amur region and Sakhalin. Dr. T. de Graaf has been invited to partici-pate and to organise the recording of acoustic data, which will be related to the old recordings from the Pushkinsky Dom.
New seminars with representatives of the Arctic peoples of Russia will be organized in Saint-Petersburg, where the results of the project will be applied. A special link will be made to the representatives from the Republic Sakha (Yakutia) where new projects of collaboration in the field of ethnolinguistics and ethnomusicology will be initiated.


Conferences, meetings, seminars etc.

The results of the project were presented at the following conferences and meetings:

Groningen, 23-24 March 1995
Workshop on Linguistics Data bases with a contribution by P.A. Skrelin on
An Acoustic Database for Studying Language Changes

Saint-Petersburg, 1-5 November 1995
Fourth International Albert Bates Lord Conference on Orality and Ethnicity: Oral Epic East and West with a contribution by T. de Graaf on "Preservation of Minority Languages and Cultures: the Case of Ethnic Minorities in Siberia"

Groningen, 27-28 November 1995
Workshop on "Yiddish in Medieval and Post-Medieval Perspective" with a contribution by T. de Graaf on 'The Study of Yiddish in Saint-Petersburg', where the discovery of the Magid manuscript and the related sound recordings was reported; this has met with great interests on the part of specialists on Jewish folklore

In May 1996, St.Petersburg University  held a seminar with the researchers of Finno-Ugric languages of the Volga region (Povolzhje) with the aim of spreading the idea of preserving languages of minor peoples in the territory of Russia. An article on this work has been written by Prof. L.V. Bondarko, recor-dings of those languages have been made and interference problems with Russian have been studied.

Gdan'sk, 30 June - 5 July 1996
Sixth International Conference on Minority Languages
with a contribution by Dr T. de Graaf on the INTAS Project

Almaty, 20 - 25 August 1996
Fifth International Albert B. Lord Conference on Epic and Ethnic Traditions in Eurasia
with a contribution by Dr T. de Graaf on the INTAS Project
Groningen, 30 October 1996

Research Seminar of the Groningen Arctic Center, 22 October 1996
with a contribution (poster) by Dr T. de Graaf on the INTAS Project

Moscow, 20 November, 1996
During the Conference of the International Association of Teachers of the Russian Language and Literature, Prof. L. Bondarko had a meeting with Dr Cecilia Odé (Leiden University, The Netherlands). They discussed the possibilities of further development of the INTAS project.

Groningen, 21 - 23 November 1996
Symposium "Finno-ugric Languages in Contact"
with a contribution by Dr T. de Graaf on the INTAS Project

Groningen, 5-10 March 1997
Visit of Prof. L.V. Bondarko to Groningen University, together with the rector of Saint-Petersbur-g University, Prof. L.A. Verbitskaya. Discussion about the collaboration between both universities, in particular the INTAS project

Groningen, 28-19 April 1997
Symposium on Language Technology with a contribution by Dr. P. Skrelin

Saint-Petersburg, 20 June - 5 July 1997
Visit of the project co-ordinator Dr. T.de Graaf with lectures, practical work in the Pushkinsky Dom on sound archiving, consultations with Russian colleagues about future project possibilities

The Hague, 12 June 1997
Dr. T. de Graaf receives a Fulbright grant from the American Ambassador for work in Berkeley in 1998 on the situation of Endangered Languages in Eastern Russia and California

Amsterdam, 28 July - 1 August 1997
2nd International Congress of Dialectologists and Geolinguists with a contribution by Dr. T.de Graaf on "The Reconstruction of Acoustic data and Minority Languages in Russia"

Düsseldorf, 15 - 20 August 1997
XIIIth International Conference on Historical linguistics with a contribution
by Dr. N. Svetozarova on the recordings of Yiddish in Saint-Petersburg

Chiba, Japan, September 1997
Dr. T. de Graaf is invited for a meeting in Japan in order to prepare a new fieldwork-project to the Amur-Sakhalin region. Lectures on the results of the INTAS project in Chiba, visits to Osaka, Sapporo, Shiraoi and Tokyo

Berkeley, Fort Ross, 4 -10 November 1997
Dr. T. de Graaf is invited for a workshop on the Oral Traditions of the North Pacific Rim and reports on the use of Acoustic Databases

Saint-Petersburg, 26 December 1997
At Saint-Petersburg University the Philological faculty meeting takes place, dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Department of Phonetics with a contribution by Prof. Liya V. Bondarko on the INTAS project and the history of sound archives in St.Peters-burg.

Saint-Petersburg, 29 December 1997
Meeting of the Scientific Committee of Saint-Petersburg University, where Dr.Tjeerd de Graaf  is offered the Honorary Degree of Doctor (Honoris Causa) of the University for his achievements in the developments of co-operation between Russian scientists and scientists of the European Community.
 

Publications

The results of the project were reported in the following publications:

N.B.Volskaya, L.V.Bondarko
Contribution in: European Studies in Phonetics and Speech Communication
Utrecht,1995

T. de Graaf
The reconstruction of acoustic Data on the ethnic Minorities of Siberia
Proceedings of the international conference on "The Indigenous Peoples of Siberia:
Studies of Endangered Languages and Cultures", Novosibirsk, June 1995
Vol. 1, pp. 381-383

L.V.Bondarko and T. de Graaf
Archives of the Languages of Russia, Reports on the INTAS project nr. 94-4758
St.Petersburg-Groningen, 1996

L.V. Bondarko
Linguistic Aspects of Speech Computing
Language and Technology (Awareness Seminar), Saint-Petersburg, 11-12 April, 1996

L.V.Bondarko
The Study and Preservation of Languages of the Peoples of Russia
International Congress "Peoples of the Com-monwealth of Inde-pendent States on the edge of the next century: reality and perspecti-ves".
Saint-Petersburg,1996

L.V.Bondarko
Phonetic Databases in a Multilingual Society
International Conference on "Language, Language Culture and Writing"
Saint-Petersburg, 1996

L.V.Bondarko
Computer Linguistics and the Study of Sound Systems of Languages;
in: The Russian Language; Past, Present and Future; Saratov, 1996

T. de Graaf
Reconstruction of Acoustic Data and the Study of Language Minorities in Russia
Contribution to 5th Albert Bates Lord Conference, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 1996

T. de Graaf
Language Minorities in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
In: Ethnological Study of Herders in Siberia. Report Nagoya City University, 1996, p.165-179

L.V.Bondarko and P.A.Skrelin (ed.)
Tales of the Russian North, St.Petersburg-Bochum, 1997.

T. de Graaf
in: Language Minorities and Minority Languages; Proceedings of the 6th International
Conference on Minority Languages; Gdansk 1997, p.131

T. de Graaf
Dutch Encounters with the Peoples of Eastern Asia
in: A Frisian and Germanic Miscellany, Odense University Press, 1996, p.377-386

T. de Graaf
Dutch Immigrants in Siberia? The Language of the Mennonites
in: Palková, Z. (ed.), Charisteria viro doctissimo Premysl Janota oblata,
Acta Universitatis Carolinae Philologica, 1996, pp. 75-86

L.V.Bondarko
Phonological oppositions and phonetic contrasts.
In: Proceedings of the International Congress dedicated to 100th Anniversary of Roman O.Jacobson, Moscow, 1996

P. Skrelin and N. Volskaya
Application of New technologies in the Development of Educational Programs;
in Language Teaching and Language Technology, Groningen, 1997, p.21

T. de Graaf
Language and Culture of the Russian Mennonites;
in: Around Peter the Great. Three Centuries of Russian-Dutch Relations
INOS, Groningen, 1997, pp.132-142

T. de Graaf
The Reconstruction of Acoustic Data and Minority Languages in Russia;
2nd International Congress of Dialectologists and Geolinguists;
Amsterdam July 28 - August 1, 1997

P.A.Skrelin (with S.O Tananayko, K.B.Sha-lo-nova)
Acoustic Database for the "Tales of the Russian North",
in: Proceedings of the Conference dedicated to the bicentennial  of Herzten State Teacher's Training University, St.Petersburg University of Economics and Finance,
St.Petersburg, 1997. pp.90-92.

N.Svetozarova and Y.Kleiner
Yiddish in Saint-Petersburg; Proc. of the XIIIth International Conference on Historical Linguistics; Düsseldorf, August 1997

P. Skrelin et al.
Zhirmunsky's Collection of German Folk Songs
CD ROM by the INTAS project team
Saint-Petersburg, 1997
  
4. Management and Financial Information

4.1 Project management

4.1.1 Co-operation with reference to each contractor

In the project period the following research activities related to the INTAS project have been carried out by each of the participants:

Bondarko L.V.

- co-ordination of the linguistic part of the project;
- co-ordination of the work on "the Tales of the Russian North"
- contacts with the co-ordinator of the project Dr Tjeerd de Graaf (Groningen);
- supervising the activities of the project participants from St.Petersburg University;
- participation in the Vienna meeting (February 1996);
- contacts with the colleagues from the Pushkinsky Dom;
- contacts with Prof. Dr Ch.Sappok (Bochum);
- organization of a seminar "Phonological theory and phonetic characteristics" for the
  linguists from the Finno-Ugric region of the Povolzhye District;
- edition of the Phonetic Fund of the Finno-Ugric Languages (1996);
- publication of the first two volumes of books on Finno-Ugric language studies;
- the introduction to the "Archives of the Languages of Russia" has been published (in
  co-operation with Dr Tjeerd de Graaf);
- an article "In  Memoriam Prof.L.R.Zinder" has been published;
- an article "The Phonetic Fund of the Languages of Russia" has been published in the
  "Archives of the Languages of Russia";
- editing of other articles for publication in "Archives of the Langua-ges of Russia";
- meetings with Dr F.Lechleitner;
- supervision over post-graduates' research on the following subjects:
a) The Interaction between the Russian and the Komi Languages on the Phonetic Level;
b) Two Languages or Two Dialects? (on the material of the Mari Language)
c) Acoustical Characteristics of the Mordva Sounds;
-  Yiddish studies: recording of native speakers of Yiddish;
-  preparation and publication of the "Archives of the Languages of Russia"
   (in cooperation with Dr.Tjeerd de Graaf), 1996;
-  the article "Zinder and Scherba" is prepared for publication;
-  the article "The Computer Organization of Data in Phonetic Research".
   in: Procee-dings of the All-Russia Scientific Conference:
   The Russian Language: Past, Present, Future (Saratov-Syktyvkar, 1996);
-  preparation of the article "The study and the preservation of the languages of Russia
   in the conception of the developmetn of international relations. Peoples of the CIS on
   the eve of the third millennium: Reality and perspectives", in: Proceedings of the IIIrd
   International Scientific Congress, vol III, Saint-Petersburg, 1996;
-  participation in the publication of The Russian Phonetic Fund Bulletin, N6.
   Tales of the Russian North (+ audio cassette), Saint-Petersburg-Bochum, 1997;
-  coordination of work of the Department of Phonetics, the Department of History of
   Russian Literature and the Pushkinsky Dom;
-  trip to Groningen. Meetings of Prof.Verbitskaya, Rector of St.Petersburg University
   with the coordinator of the project Dr.Tjeerd de Graaf in Groningen and with
   representatives of Groningen University; May 1997;
-  work on the further development of the INTAS project (INTAS proposal 1998):
   "Sound Archives in the World Wide Web";
-  organization of the first joint phonetic seminar of the Department of Phonetics of the
   University of Helsinki and the Department of Phonetics of St.Petersburg University.

Marchenko Yu. I.

-  cataloguing the sound recordings of Siberian languages and languages of the Far East
   stored in the collection of the Pushlinksky Dom.
   These are collections NN 20-27, 29-35,63,65,74,75,84,85,89-91,94,95,112, 124,
   126,127,133,146,148,159,191,206; including the collection of 1008 cylinders,
   handed over to the Sound Archive by the Moscow conservatory;
-  attribution of the material collected during field work;
-  search for the accompanying materials in the Archive of Manuscripts of the Sound
   Archive of the Pushkinsky Dom;
-  input of the relevant data into the computer;
-  introduction of the materials collected during recent field work
   into the catalogue (collections Yak.77, Yak.81, Ga-83, Kr-78, MF-227-229 - the total
   number is 117 taped recordings);
-  publication of the article on the "Archives of the Languages of Russia"
   (in cooperati-on with Dr.V.P.Schiff);
-  copying Jewish materials from S.D.Magid's collection and the collection of
   Bere-govsky, stored in the Archives of the Pushkinsky Dom;
-  contacts with Dr. F. Lechleitner (Vienna Phonogram Archive).
-  providing technical assistance to the colleagues from the Department of Phonetics in
   their work with the materials from Zhirmunsky's and Magid's collections in the
   Pushkinsky Dom Archives.
-  the further inspection of the fund relating to the peoples of Russia and the Far East.

Schiff V.P.

- restoration and copying of the recordings made on wax discs (from the collection of
  Zhirmunsky): 317 discs were copied; about 950 minutes of recording time;
- quality control of the recordings was performed; (the wax disks from Zhirmunsky's
  collection have been copied in the Vienna Phonogram Archive (February 1996) and
  selected according to the sound quality;
- copies were made of the Jewish materials from S.D.Magid's collection;
- wax discs  from Beregovsky's collection have been copied;
- copies were made of the 1008 cylinders from the collection of the peoples of Siberia
  and the Far East (3500 minutes of recording time);
- copying the materials of Siberian languages and languages of the Far East collected
  during recent expeditions: 117 taped recordings, about 3500 minutes of recording
  time;
- an article was published in cooperation with Dr.Yu.I.Marchenko in the "Archives of
  the Languages of Russia";
- preparation of the catalogue of sound recordings of the Northern Russian dialects,
  languages of the peoples of Siberia and the Far East from the collection of Pushkin-sky
  Dom for publication;
- meetings with Dr. F. Lechleitner at the Sound Archive of the Pushkinsky Dom;
- installation of the "special device" in the Pushkinsky Dom;
- providing technical assistance to the colleagues from the Department of Phonetics in
  their work with the materials from Zhirmunsky's and Magid's collections in the
  Pushkinsky Dom Archives.

Sherstinova T.Y.

- development of the research methods for diachronic studies of Russian dialects;
- publication of the article "A Linguistic Database for Dialectological Research"
  for the 1996 yearbook;
- preparation of a camera-ready copy of the "Archives of the Languages of Russia";
- preparation of a camera-ready copy of the "Tales of the Russian North";
- analysis of the dialectal features based on the material of Russian tales;
- input of the digitized dialectal texts of the Russian tales into the computer;
- manual segmentation of the digitized dialectal texts;
- preparation of the dialectal material (transcription) for its further use in phonetic
  research with the SONAHEAR system;
- development of the principles of organization of the phonetic database for dialectal
  speech studies;
- trip to Bochum; contacts with dr.Ch.Sappok at Ruhr University;
- participation in the SPECOM-97 Conference in Romania (Octo-ber 1997) with a
  presentation on the Phonetic Database of Russian;
- participation in the first joint phonetic seminar of the Department of Phonetics of the
  University of Helsinki and the Department of Phonetics of St.Petersburg University.

Skrelin P.A.

- coordination of the experimental phonetic research of the project;
- the development and the realization of the architecture and functions of the database
  for archival recordings;
- the development of the inner structure of the material in the database (attribution of the
  archival sound material, accompanying texts and commentaries, digitized sound
  material) for its introduction into the database;
- input of the sound material into the computer in the PCM format (16 bits, 16 kHz);
- filling in the database: input of the material attribution, attachment of the sound and
  text files; recording of the database and its materials on the CD-ROM;
  The database is designed for Windows 3.1 or 95; IBM-compatible PC with any 16-bits
  Sound Card;
- out of 88 discs of acceptable quality selected by specialists from the Pushkinsky Dom
  176 sound files with accompanying texts and commentaries appended to them were
  introduced into the database;
- adaptation of the database developed for the archival material to its use for the Russian
  material;
- preparation of 'A Brief User's Manual'(A Database User's Guide); the development of
  a special transcription font which meets the IPA requirements, for its use in transcri
  -bing the Tales of the Russian North;
- consultations with Western colleagues about the possibilities of INTERNET
  connection (Dr. W. Deutsch, Vienna, Prof.A.Iivonen, Helsinki);
- provision and coordination of e-mail facilities and solution of technical communication
  problems;
- contacts with Dr. F.Lechleitner; Phonogram Archive, Vienna;
- contacts with Dr. Ch.Sappok (Bochum, Ruhr University);
- participation in the Vienna INTAS-group meeting (February 1996);
- consultations with the Western colleagues concerning the possibilities of introducing
  the acoustic database into the European database;
- preparation of the article "The structure of acoustic databases for old recordings"in
  Archives of the Languages of Russia (with N. Volskaya)
- participation in the International Conference on Linguistic Databases,
  Univerisity of Groningen, 23-34 March 1995;
- participation in the International CALL Conference University of Groningen,
  28-29 April 1997;
- participation in the Finno-Ugric seminar
  ("The Use of Computers in Phonetic Re-search");
- participation in the first joint phonetic seminar of the Department of Phonetics of the
  University of Helsinki and the Department ofPhonetics of Saint-Petersburg University;
- chief-editor of the "Tales of the Russian North": The Russian Phonetic Fund Bulletin"
  No.6, edited by L.Bondarko and C. Sappok (ISBN 093-74921);
- publication of the "Tales of the Russian North" on CD ROM;
- preparation of "A brief user's manual" (A Database user's Guide);
- adaptation of the database developed for the archive material to its use for the Russian
  material;
- development of two versions of the database:
  1. LDB 2.01 (Standard) for the use on CD ROM
  2. LDB 2.01 (Pro) for storing and editing the database recordings;
- development of a special transcription font which meets he IPA requirements for its
  use in transcribing the Tales of the Russian North;
- publication of an article "Acoustic Database for the Tales of the Russian North" (with
  S.O. Tananayko and K.B. Shalonova); in "Proceedings of the Conference dedicated to the bicentennial of Herzen State Teacher's Training University; Saint-Petersburg University of Economics and Finance, Saint-Petersburg, 1997, pp.90-92

Svetozarova N.D.

- identification of 321 disks from Zhirmunsky's collection in the Phonogramm Archive
  of the Pushkinsky Dom (most of them referring to the Ukraine and Leningrad region)
  has been completed;
- all the data was compared with the material in Zhirmunsky's "German Folk Songs
  Ar-chive in Leningrad" of the Folklore Manuscript Archive of the Pushkinsky Dom";
- data referring to Zhirmunsky's German Folk Collection in the Archive of the Academy
  of Sciences (Saint-Petersburg Department) and in the Institute of the History of Arts
  was also studied;
- study of Zhirmunsky's publications on German Island dialects and German folk songs
  (1928-1931);
- the database LDB 2.01 developed specially for the INTAS project has been filled.
  Out of 88 discs of acceptable quality selected by specia-lists from the Pushkinsky Dom
  176 sound files with accompanying texts and com-men-taries appended to them were
  introduced into the database;
- auditory phonetic analysis and partial transcription of the recordings was carried out;
- an article in which results of the research are described, is prepared for publication in
  1997;
- S.D.Magid's manuscript was carefully studied;
- consultations with Prof.I. Levin about  Magid's manuscript "The Ballad in Jewish
  folklore" (March 1997);
- consultations about the possibilities of publication of the manuscript with the President
  of the Yiddish Musical Society in Saint-Petersburg E.Khazdan (June 1997);
- Yiddish: 9 speakers were recorded (word lists, read and spontaneous specch) and the
  materal was analysed;
- work on Prof.L.Zinder's bibliography, started by the late Prof.A.Stern was completed;
  The bibliography  was published in the "Archives of the Languages of Russia" , 1996.
- participation in Vienna INTAS -group meeting (February 1996). "Zhirmunsky's
  collection in the Pushkinsky Dom"- a report made at the INTAS workgroup meeting in
  the Vienna Sound Archive;
- participation in the Conference "In Memory of Albert Lord", Saint-Petersburg, 1996.
  with a presentation on S.Magid's work "The Ballad in Jewish Folklore";
- participation in The XIII International Conference on Historical Linguistics.
  Hei-rich-Heine University, Duesseldorf, Germany; with a presentation on
  "Yiddish in Saint-Petersburg: linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects;
  this presentation was made in cooperation with Dr.Yu.Kleiner (SPbSU)
- participation in the Finno-Ugric seminar ("Intonation Theory") in 1996;
- an article "The Collection of Folk Songs in the Sound Archive of the Pushkinsky
  Dom" was published in 1996;
- participation in the first joint phonetic seminar of the Department of Phonetics of the
  University of Helsinki and the Department of Phonetics of Saint-Petersburg University;

Varzhavitina E.A.

- newly discovered, identified and taped 176 German ballads from the Zhirmunsky
  collection;
- they have been introduced into the database, together with information about the
  recor-dings;
- for this purpose the database LDB 2.01 has been used, which was specially developed
  for the INTAS project;
- the auditory analysis of the sound material from Zhirmun-sky's collection
  (179 German ballads);
- transcription of the sound material and its phonetic analy-sis.

Volskaya N.B.

- correspondence on the INTAS matters;
- English translation and work as interpreter;
- preparation of protocols, reports, and project proposals;
- translating and editing articles for publication in the
  "Archives of the Languages of Russia";
- publication of an article "The structure of the acoustic database for the old recordings"
  in the Archives of the Languages of Russia 1996 (with P.Skrelin);
- participation in Vienna INTAS-group meeting (February 1996);
  consultations on issues concerning the possibilities of introducing the acoustic database
  developed at the Department of Phonetics into the European Database;
- participation in the International Conference on Linguistic Databases,
  University of Groningen, 23-34 March 1995;
- participation in the International CALL Conference;
  University of Groningen, 28-29 April 1997;
- participation in the Finno-Ugric seminar
  ("Phonetic Systems - Languages and their Sounds");
- participation in the first joint phonetic seminar of the Department of Phonetics of the
  University of Helsinki and the Department of Phonetics of St.Petersburg University.
 

List of project co-ordination meetings and reports of the INTAS workgroup meetings and related activities

The protocols of the meetings in 1995 and 1996 can be found in the periodic progress reports of those years.

Groningen, 23 March 1995
Meeting during the Workshop on Linguistic Databases

From 26 March until 9 April 1995 Dr. Vladimir Schiff stayed in Vienna in order to make copies of the Zhirmunski recordings with the special equipment at the Phono-gramm Archiv. This task had initially been planned for one month, but due to unfore-
s-een circumstances, only half of the recordings could be taken to Vienna.

Saint-Petersburg, 29 June 1995
Saint-Petersburg University and Pushkinsky Dom  had a meeting with the coordinator of the project Dr. Tjeerd de Graaf. Current issues were discussed and the contents of the collection of articles for publication were appro-ved.

Saint-Petersburg, 26 October 1995
During our meeting of 26 October 1995 Prof. R. Alexander of Berkeley Universi-ty discussed with us the possibilities of further collaboration with linguists and ethnologists in the USA. The main aim shall be the study of ethnic minorities in the former USSR. For the purpose of preparing this project, a workshop will be organised at Berkeley University in April 1996. Further consultations will take place with specialists in Japan in order to extend our collaborati-on to a wider frame-work.

Vienna, 5-9 February 1996
Meetings of the INTAS workgroup at the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The results of the first year and the further procedures have been discussed.

From 1 until 15 February 1996 Dr Vladimir Schiff stayed two weeks in Vienna in order to make copies of the rest of Zhirmunsky's recordings with the special equipment at the Phono-grammarchiv. Half of the recordings were already copied during his first visit to Vienna in March-April 1995.

Saint-Petersburg, 11-12 April, 1996
During the Seminar on Language and Technology, Prof.L.Bondarko gave a report on "Linguistic Aspects of Speech Computing" and the INTAS workgroup had a meeting with Mr.Poul Andersen, European Commission. Subject: European Commission Strategy concerning Multilingualism and the Information Society.

In April 1996, Dr T.Sherstinova stayed in Bochum (Germany), where she discussed methods of research of the Russian dialectological material with Dr Sappok.

Saint Petersburg, 9 September 1996
St.Petersburg University and Pushkinsky Dom
Meeting with the co-ordinator of the project Dr Tjeerd de Graaf.

Dr.Ch.Sappok (Ruhr University, Bochum) visited St.Petersburg University from 11 to 16 October 1996. Current issues were discussed, including the possibilities of introducing sound files into INTERNET and problems of Russian dialectology.

St.Petersburg, 28-31 October 1996
During the International Workshop on Speech and Computer, SPECOM'96, the INTAS workgroup had a meeting with Prof. Louis L.C.W. Pols (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), President of European Speech Communica-tion Association.

Saint Petersburg, 10-15 December 1996
The INTAS groups at St.Petersburg University and the Pushkinsky Dom had a meeting with Dr Lechleitner (Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences), who delivered and installed the device for recording wax cylinders at the Pushkinsky Dom. Russian colleagues demonstra-ted the database for old recordings and Russian text-to-sp-eech synthesis systems.

Groningen, 11 March 1997
Visit of Prof. A.S. Gerd from Saint-Petersburg, who gave a lecture and discussed future collaboration possibilities in the field of ethnolinguistics

Saint-Petersburg, 23 June 1997
Meeting of the INTAS workgroup with the project co-ordinator Dr Tjeerd de Graaf
See Protocol 97A (Annex 1)

Saint-Petersburg, 6 january 1998
Meeting of the INTAS workgroup with the project co-ordinator Dr Tjeerd de Graaf, where the draft for the final report of the INTAS project 94-4758 was discussed
See Protocol 98A (Annex 2)
 

4.1.2.3  Planning and problems encountered

The amount of material to be introduced into the databa-se turned out to be so large that it now has to be stored on MO discs. At the moment this is convenient, but as it should be available as research material for other specialists, it is better to store the material on CDs. The sound files require big memory capacity.
With the INTAS funding (project nr. 94-4758) the two institutions - the Department of Phonetics of St.Petersburg University and the Sound Archive (the Pushkinsky Dom) have completed research into very valuable recordings made at different times and from speakers of different languages - such as Germanic dialects in Russia and some Siberian languages. A database architecture developed makes access to the systematized archival material.
The next problem we face is how to make these data available to the global scientific community via the World Wide Web. The database can be made accessible on the World Wide Web, by implementing a dedicated Web-server at the Department of Philology of Saint-Petersburg University. Only in this way scholars around the world (linguists, phoneticians, ethnologists, musicologists, folklorists) will get access to the material from the Saint-Petersburg Archives.
The main problem still remains: the numerous collections of invaluable recor-dings stored in the Sound Archive of the Institute of the Russian Literature (the Pushkinsky Dom) are too big to be studied, re-recorded and introduced into the database  within the scope of a three-year's project. There is still a lot left to be done for many people in the years to come. The framework of the present project is too narrow and the funding is too limited for the complete work to be continued as it should be and as the  material requires.
The results achieved allow us to define directions of further research within the framework of the INTAS project and other projects. Thus we plan to continue work in the fields of
- contrastive phonetics and ethnolinguistics;
- creation of archives of old recordings.
We also plan to continue co-operation with colleagues at Berkeley University and in Japan (Chiba, Nagoya, Sapporo) who work in the same fields and have shown interest in our studies.
The main difference with the initial planning consists of the delay which has been caused by the late availability of the special device to be built in Vienna. Neverthe-less, much work could be done with the equipment already available at the Pushkinsky Dom and part of the recording has been completed in Vienna. In this way the project could proceed according to the original planning.
Another delay was due to the fact that in 1995 not all Zhirmunsky recordings could be taken to Vienna (no good facilities for these discs are available in Saint-Peters-burg). The second part of this task was executed in February 1996.
The archives related to the work of Zhirmunsky on German dialectology, folklore and German culture in Russia will further be described and systematized. Selected material will be prepared for print. Auditory analysis and partial trans-cription of the recordings have started and will continue. Comments related to the sound recordings in the Pushkinsky Dom (texts and musical notation) have been found and will be studied. Additional work has started with the Magid recordings on Yiddish.

One of our problems consists of the fact that in various cases the quality of the sound material is so poor that it hampers decoding and transcrip-tion. We are investiga-ting this and we are trying to find a possibility to improve the quality of the recor-dings. In case quality improvement is successful, we shall store the improved variant together with the original recording.
Summarizing: the work has been fulfilled in accordance with the INTAS co-operati-on agreement, for which great changes were not required, and many new directions of further research have been opened.

4.1.4.  Use of the Equipment

With the INTAS funding the Department of Phonetics and the Sound Archive of the Pushkinsky Dom have acquired modern computer equipment and professional recording devices. To make old recordings available for other scholars, the recordings made on wax cylinders and discs were transferred onto modern sound carriers with the help of a special device, which had been constructed for this purpose as a result of collaboration between the Sound Archive of the Academy of Sciences in Vienna (under the supervision of Prof.Dr.Schueller) and British engineers from the BBC. Many of the 10.000 wax cylinders of the Pushkinsky Dom Sound Archives have been re-recorded and in the future the work with this universal new system will continue and will provide many new interesting data.
With great profit the computer equipment, which was installed in 1995 and 1996, has been used for the project. In 1996 the special device for the reconstruc-tion of old sound material could be delivered to the Pushkinsky Dom, which brings the technical facilities of the institute up to European standards (like in Vienna and London).
The participants of the project at the Department of Phonetics of Saint-Petersburg University used the following equipment for the purpose of working out and filling in the database referring to the German dialects from the Zhirmunsky's collection:
- 2 computers IBM PC, Pentium with peripherals (printer, 2 CD ROM drivers, 2 Sound Blaster cards, MO drive, 2 Bach UPS).
- 1 Cardy 5000 Notebook 486DX4-100, 4MB RAM, DSTN Color with RAM extension and sound card for the use of programmes with the partner in Bochum, related to Russian dialects;
- 1 Marantz cassette recorder for reproducing the recordings of German dialects as well as for recording Russian dialects.
The participants of the project at the Pushkinsky Dom used the following equipment which had been purchased for the purpose of the project:
- the special device for copying wax cylinders which has been deli-vered from Vienna and installed at the Pushkinsky Dom;
- 3 Marantz cassette recorders for copying German dialects from other sound carriers and for field recordings of Yiddish, Russian dialects and other data.
During the whole project period cassettes and other material supplies (consuma-bles like audio tapes, diskettes, CD ROM, printer supplies etc.) for the experimental work with the equipment have also been provided from the INTAS budget. 
  
 4.1.5 Analysis of the project

The relationship between objectives, research activities and expected results as indicated in the INTAS co-operation agreement has proven to be realistic. The project was initiated by financial support of the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) which provided a limited amount of funds which could not be expanded. Without INTAS funding this part of the project could not have been completed.
The INTAS funding has been essential for the follow-up of this project which gives rise to various new lines of research. We are now looking for additional possibili-ties of funding which are necessary for the many new projects which become possible on the basis of the material obtained in this INTAS project.