Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Learning Sicilian

Recently, I have been very busy in my studies in linguistics (and I still am!). We are now working on our final big project before we finish the linguistics course at the end of July. For this project, I am now learning Sicilian together with two other students. We have a Sicilian language helper named Daniele who has been meeting with us every day for two hours for the past 5 1/2 weeks.

During those meetings, we ask him to say various things in Sicilian while we make an audio recording of what he says and try to write it down for ourselves using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

I have now collected 1,149 utterances (these can be either individual words or whole sentences). Our assignment is not to learn to speak the language, but rather to analyse it and hand in a write-up of the phonetics and grammar of the language. And this takes much longer than you might think!

Thankfully, we have a week-long break coming up shortly, but after that I will spend many, many hours trying to make sense of Sicilian and present my findings on paper!

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