Office of Undergraduate Research

The Dialect of Wermelskirchen

An analysis of the postvocalic consonants /p t k f s x/ that occur in the dialect of Wermelskirchen, Germany may shed light on the spred of the High German consonant shift that took place between 500 and 750 AD in the German dialects. This little understood linguistic change abruptly differentiated German from its close linguistic cousins such as Dutch and English. Wermelskirchen is located in the linguistic borderlands between dialects that underwent these changes and those that didn't. As such, it may represent an interesting intermediate phase of the shift.

Tasks and responsibilities:

Assist the faculty superviser in ordering an electronic corpus of words in the dialect of Wermelskirchen so that the postvocalic consonants in these words can be studied more efficiently. (Simple digital alphabetization of this corpus is impossible and must be undertaken by hand.)