The Project

The multilingual melodies project aims to create a typology of the prosody of linguistic varieties spoken in Fryslân. Prosody is the series of elements (melody, rhythm, voice, intensity) that are the heart of what a language “sounds like”, beyond the mere vowel and consonant sounds of the language. Despite giving individuality to languages and speakers, not from an impressionistic perspective, but from a scientific one, prosody is nonetheless often neglected in linguistic descriptions. No prosodic typology exists of the Frisian language as spoken today. This project describes how prosodic features are used by multilingual (Frisian-Dutch) speakers, as opposed to monolingual speakers in Fryslân, addressing the nuances of language contact and change. Prosodic information as mapped out in this project can be used to detect stages in multilingual development.

Aims of the project:
  • Create a corpus of multilingual speech from Fryslân
  • Create a typological description of prosodic features of multilingual speech as compared to that of monolingual Dutch speech and traditional Frisian
  • Recommend how prosodic information can be used in the development of sensor technologies with specific real-world applications