eWAVE (World Atlas of Varieties of English)

Jean-Christophe Verstraete jean-christophe.verstraete at ARTS.KULEUVEN.BE
Sat Nov 19 11:39:42 UTC 2011

(forwarded on behalf of Bernd Kortmann 
<bernd.kortmann at anglistik.uni-freiburg.de>)

Dear members of the ALT community,

maybe the following piece of news will be of interest to you and to your 
colleagues in the department. Just click on the link at the bottom of 
this message and see for yourselves!

FRIAS -- the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies -- and the 
Max-Planck-Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) proudly 
announce the availability of a fascinating new OPEN ACCESS online tool 
which can be exploited both in research and teaching on the grammars of 
varieties of English worldwide:

eWAVE -- the electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English, edited by 
Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin Lunkenheimer.

eWAVE was designed and compiled at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced 
Studies (FRIAS) and the English Department of the University of 
Freiburg, Germany, between 2008 and 2011. eWAVE is an interactive 
database on morphosyntactic variation in spontaneous spoken English 
mapping 235 features from about a dozen domains of grammar in 48 
varieties of English (traditional dialects, high-contact mother-tongue 
Englishes, and indigenized second-language Englishes) and 26 
English-based Pidgins and Creoles in eight Anglophone world regions 
(Africa, Asia, Australia, British Isles, Caribbean, North America, 
Pacific, and the South Atlantic). It was compiled from descriptive 
materials, naturalistic corpus data, and native speaker knowledge by a 
team of 80 contributors, all leading experts in their fields, directed 
by Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin Lunkenheimer. eWAVE is unique not only in 
its coverage and user-friendliness, but also in being an open access 
resource. As such it has the potential for serving both as a teaching 
tool in academic teaching around the world and as an indispensable 
research tool by specialists in many different fields of linguistics, 
including creolistics, dialectology, dialect syntax, language change, 
language typology, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, and 
the study of World Englishes and learner Englishes.

What eWAVE can do for you
eWAVE facilitates the investigation of global-scale patterns of 
morphosyntactic variation in English and helps answering questions like 
the following:
• Which features are most/least widespread across varieties of English 
• How many varieties of English worldwide share feature X?
• Is feature X restricted to or characteristic of a particular part of 
the English-speaking world?
• Is feature X restricted to or characteristic of a particular group of 
• Does variety A have feature X?
• In which area of grammar does variety A differ most from variety B?

The information required to answer questions of this kind can be found 
in the central parts of eWAVE: the varieties index, the features index, 
and the individual variety and feature profiles. These combine 
searchable catalogues of varieties and of morphosyntactic features with 
interactive maps, and allow you to explore in detail the distribution of 
features within and across varieties of English and English-based 
Pidgins and Creoles worldwide (see the help pages for more details). 
Ultimately, the information provided in eWAVE can also be used for the 
investigation of more general questions, such as the following: Which 
features generally are characteristic of a particular variety type (e.g. 
L2 varieties)? In which domain of grammar is there most/least 
heterogeneity/homogeneity among varieties of English worldwide? Are 
English-based pidgins and creoles as a group significantly different 
from other varieties in terms of morphosyntax?

eWAVE was partly designed and entirely programmed in collaboration with 
the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), and is 
also hosted by MPI-EVA. Since eWAVE is designed as an evolving 
interactive tool, we are planning to have annual updates. A similar 
project is the MPI-EVA's Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures 
(APiCS, edited by Michaelis, Maurer, Haspelmath and Huber), which is due 
to appear in 2012, both as a book atlas and as an electronic database 
like eWAVE.

eWAVE can be accessed from TODAY, November 19, 2011 onwards. Please 
visit: http://www.ewave-atlas.org

Best wishes,
Bernd Kortmann

Professor Dr. Bernd Kortmann
Dean of the Philological Faculty
Department of English
University of Freiburg
Rempartstr. 15
D-79085 Freiburg

Bernd.Kortmann at anglistik.uni-freiburg.de<mailto:Bernd.Kortmann at anglistik.uni-freiburg.de>
phone: ++49/761/203-3318; -3320 (secretary); -2425 (Dean's office)
fax:  ++49/761/203-3330

Hermann Paul Centre for Linguistics

NEW -- published in November 2011:
Kortmann, Bernd and Kerstin Lunkenheimer, eds. 2011.
The electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English [eWAVE].
Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Published in July 2011:
Kortmann, Bernd and Johan van der Auwera, eds. 2011.
The Languages and Linguistics of Europe:
A Comprehensive Guide. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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