Beat Siebenhaar

Beat Siebenhaar
University of Leipzig · Institute of German Language and Literature

Doctor of Philosophy

About

61
Publications
22,728
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296
Citations
Introduction
Beat Siebenhaar currently works at the Institute of German Language and Literature, University of Leipzig. Beat does research in Sociolinguistics, Phonetics and Computational Linguistics. His current projects are 'What's up, Switzerland?' and SpuRD 'Sprechtempo und Reduktion im Deutschen'
Additional affiliations
April 2008 - present
University of Leipzig
Position
  • Professor (Full)
November 2005 - August 2008
Universität Bern
Position
  • Assistent
October 2003 - March 2008
Universität Bern
Position
  • Oberassistent

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Emojis are pictographs added to messages on social media and websites. Researchers have observed that emojis representing kissing faces are often used to close instant messaging conversations. This has been interpreted as an imitation of cheek kissing, a common behavior in some cultural contexts. We analyze the use of seven types of kissing emojis...
Poster
Full-text available
In dialektologischen und variationslinguistischen Arbeiten konnte mehrfach für unterschiedliche Register gezeigt werden, dass Elision (bzw. Syn- /Apokope) von Schwa im deutschen Sprachraum unterschiedlich durchgeführt wird (vgl. Schirmunski 2010 [1962], Hahn/Siebenhaar 2019). Die Qualität von Schwa wurde für den deutschen Sprachraum bislang jedoch...
Chapter
Messenger-Dienste wie WhatsApp, Telegram, Threema, iMessage u. Ä. werden (heute noch) weitgehend für die private Kommunikation genutzt. Zusammen mit dem hohen Interaktionsrhythmus gilt dieser private Charakter als Ursache dafür, dass die sprachliche Realisierung in dieser mobilen Kommunikation durch konzeptionelle Mündlichkeit (Koch/Oesterreicher 1...
Chapter
Das Kapitel bietet einen Überblick über Geschichte und aktuelle räumliche Struktur des Ostmitteldeutschen, wobei anhand der Literatur der letzten 60 Jahre gezeigt wird, dass die ursprüngliche Aufteilung in Thüringisch und Obersächsisch nicht mehr tragfähig ist.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Acceleration of speech rate is often said to be correlated with a reduction of the vowel space. However, a monocausal explanation of the vowel space reduction by speech rate is surely too simplistic. With our regionally balanced database of a German text read in two reading tempi we present geolinguistic maps of • the different sizes of the vowel s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tempo of speech and phonetic reduction are closely related and differ in their spatial distributions. The SpuRD-project (Sprechtempo und Reduktion im Deutschen) focusses on this web of relationships and their spatial variation for the whole German-speaking area in central Europe. Using standard-intended reading material in normal and fast reading t...
Poster
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Tempo of speech and phonetic reduction are closely related and differ in their spatial distributions. The SpuRD project Sprechtempo und Reduktion im Deutschen focusses on this web of relationships and their spatial variation for the whole German speaking area in Central Europe. Using standard intended reading material in normal and fast r...
Chapter
Full-text available
The questions of how speaking rate and phonetic reduction are correlated as well as how they interact in linguistic space are still unanswered up to this date. The project speaking rate and phonetic reduction in German (Sprechtempo und Reduktion im Deutschen SpuRD) aims to answer these questions by using reading material from the Deutsch heute corp...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassend lässt sich festhalten, dass das Buch einen Einblick in die Arbeiten der Würzburger Bilingualismusforschung gibt. Das zeigt sich auch darin, dass von den 51 Literaturangaben 26 von der Autorin oder ihrer Schüler_innen stammen. Von den übrigen sind lediglich fünf Texte nach dem Jahr 2000 erschienen, worunter einer eine Einführung in d...
Chapter
Full-text available
The article examines whether the use of emojis varies with the age of the chatters. The phenomenological insight into two corpora, a corpus of Swiss German and German data, contains the representation, commentary and illustration function of emojis, similar to the description for the ‘classic’ ASCII smileys. However, the expanded inventory of the i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Mit dem Aufkommen der computervermittelten Kommunikation (CMC) im weiteren Sinne, und ganz besonders mit quasisynchronen Kommunikationsformen wie dem Chatten, haben sich neue Regeln und Formen für den Gebrauch der Schrift etabliert. Die Verwendung von graphostilistischen Zeichen(kombinationen) als eine dieser neuen Formen steht im Zentrum dieses Au...
Chapter
Full-text available
Die Untersuchung bietet den ersten systematischen Zugang zu der Frage, inwiefern Sprechtempo und phonetische Reduktion im deutschen " Gebrauchsstan-dard " regionaler Variation unterliegen. Dazu werden in zwei intendierten Tempi ein-gelesene Aufnahmen des " Nordwind und Sonne "-Textes ausgewertet, die es ermög-lichen, einen direkten Vergleich zwisch...
Chapter
Full-text available
Die meisten innersprachlichen Ebenen der schweizerdeutschen Mundarten sind gut bis sehr gut untersucht, sowohl im Hinblick auf die Einzeldialekte als auch im sprachgeographischen Vergleich. Was zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts fehlt, ist neben der syntaktischen Ebene, die z. Z. mit dem Syntaxatlas der deutschen Schweiz erfasst wird, eine Beschreibung...
Chapter
Die Notwendigkeit, den Gegenstand Dialektliteratur sowohl unter einer literaturwissenschaftlichen als auch unter einer dialektologisch-linguistischen Perspektive zu betrachten, ist seit langem erkannt – weder in der Lehre noch in der Forschung ist dies aber Wirklichkeit geworden. Der Gegenstand eröffnet in beiden beteiligten Disziplinen eine Vielza...
Article
Full-text available
Following the breakdown of traditional dialects in parts of central Saxony, findings showing the current configuration of the variation spectrum are still unavailable. This paper will complement previous studies by presenting a further, specific analysis, albeit this time by means of an instrumental-phonetic analysis. The formants and the monophtho...
Article
Following the breakdown of traditional dialects in parts of central Saxony, findings showing the current configuration of the variation spectrum are still unavailable. This paper will complement previous studies by presenting a further, specific analysis, albeit this time by means of an instrumental-phonetic analysis. The formants and the monophtho...
Chapter
Full-text available
[bl̥ ɪts͜ ts͜ ts͜ ts͜ ʊ:g̊] Blitzt s z Zug? Is there lightning in (the town of) Zug? Swiss German dialects have often been interpreted as syllable languages, as opposed to Standard German which is said to be a word language (Nübling and Schrambke 2004, Szczepaniak 2007: 317–325). The example above may very well enlighten the problems that arise wi...
Article
After a focus on dialectal syntax in the 1990s, an increasing interest in dialectal prosody can be noted at the beginning of the new millennium. The following findings on Swiss German prosody are based on models for a speech synthesis for the dialects of Berne and Zurich. The differences between the dialects appear not only in the phonology of into...
Article
Pronunciation varieties and variants in the German language should be discussed in the German-as-a- Foreign-Language classroom so that students are better prepared for real-life conversation experience. In this article, we give an outline of the standard varieties of German spoken in Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland, as well as the...
Article
The use of more than one language in SMS communication is widespread, yet has remained relatively underexplored in the existing research. In this paper we ask: What methodological and conceptual tools are needed for empirically investigating code-switching in large databases of SMS communication? We show that the investigation of SMS communication...
Article
Full-text available
The following text presents parts of a study that was carried out in Leipzig. 22 native inhabitants of Leipzig were interviewed for their perception of different varieties spoken in their hometown. A result of the study showed that people generally differentiate between a Standard German and a dialectal variety, which both are subcategorized in a h...
Article
The following text presents parts of a study that was carried out in Leipzig. 22 native inhabitants of Leipzig were interviewed for their perception of different varieties spoken in their hometown. A result of the study showed that people generally differentiate between a Standard German and a dialectal variety, which both are subcategorized in a h...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the timing and fundamental frequency behavior of 40 Swiss German speakers from four different dialect regions. Prosodic behavior of each dialect is analyzed using statistical tests against the backdrop of detecting dialect-specific patterns as well as cross-dialectal differences. We find that variation in F 0 as well as in timin...
Chapter
The dimensions of time and space fundamentally cause and shape the variability of all human language. To reduce investigation of this insight to manageable proportions, researchers have traditionally concentrated on the 'deepest' dialects. But it is increasingly apparent that, although most people still speak with a distinct regional coloring, the...
Chapter
The dimensions of time and space fundamentally cause and shape the variability of all human language. To reduce investigation of this insight to manageable proportions, researchers have traditionally concentrated on the 'deepest' dialects. But it is increasingly apparent that, although most people still speak with a distinct regional coloring, the...
Chapter
In traditional diachronic map-based dialectology, priority is given to divergence in an originally uniform language space (cf. Schrambke, this volume; Harnisch, this volume). Dialect divergence is explained by natural or man-made borders which limit the spread of a change as they impede communication and interaction (Bach 1969: 80–81; Murray, this...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous studies on the perception of language prosody and dialectal prosody have shown that languages and regional dialects can be identified by prosodic cues alone. This pilot study tests this for 4 Swiss German dialects. 70 subjects are presented with filtered speech material, devoid of segmental cues. The filter was applied for frequencies betw...
Article
Full-text available
The present paper discusses the intonational features of 3 Swiss German dialects: Valais Swiss German (WS), representing the Alpine variety, and Zurich (ZH) and Berne (BE) Swiss German, representing the Midland dialects. By application of the Fujisaki intonation model, 24 speakers of the mentioned dialects are investigated according to their global...
Article
Full-text available
Qualitative analysis of code choice, code switching, and language style in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) can shed light on functional-pragmatic aspects of the use of different linguistic varieties. However, in a qualitative analysis, the status of varieties within a channel or for a single chatter can only be guessed at. Moreover, qualitative research...
Article
Full-text available
The study examines the timing of 17 speakers and the intonation of 6 speakers of two Swiss German dialects. Results show that the relative mean duration of segments and final lengthening are only similar in the two dialects observed. A crucial difference is that Valais speakers generally speak at a faster rate. In terms of intonation, the Valais pr...
Article
In the German-speaking regions of Switzerland, dialect is spoken by all social groups in most communicative situations, Standard German being used only when prescribed. Swiss dialects rarely appeared in written form before the 1980s, apart from the genre of dialect literature. Due to the growing acceptance of informal writing styles in many Europea...
Article
In der deutschsprachigen Schweiz stehen sich gesprochene Mundarten und geschriebene Standardsprache gegenüber. Außer in formellen Situationen wird Mundart gesprochen, und bis vor kurzem wurde nur selten Mundart geschrieben, sondern die hochdeutsche Schrift-sprache. Die Chat-Kommunikation zeigt einerseits durch die nicht-zeitversetzte quasi-direkte...
Article
Full-text available
Research on dialectal varieties was for a long time concentrated on phonetic aspects of language. While there was a lot of work done on segmental aspects, suprasegmentals remained unexploited until the last few years, despite the fact that prosody was remarked as a salient aspect of dialectal variants by linguists and by naive speakers. Actual rese...
Article
The pilot project described here investigates the linguistic situation in the German-speaking settlements on the mountain peaks in the French-speaking areas of the Bernese Jura and Canton Jura. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Baptists, fleeing from persecution by the Bernese authorities, were allowed to settle in these areas, which...
Article
The pilot project described here investigates the linguistic situation in the German-speaking settlements on the mountain peaks in the French-speaking areas of the Bernese Jura and Canton Jura. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Baptists, fleeing from persecution by the Bernese authorities, were allowed to settle in these areas, which...
Article
The regional chat-rooms in Switzerland show an extremely high portion of dialectal contributions (up to 90%). This non-standardized spontaneous writing of a dialectal language still reflects the geolinguistic distribution described in the linguistic atlas of German speaking Switzerland SDS (1962-1997) based on recordings of the 1940s and 1950s. Thi...
Chapter
IntroductionThe Phonetic AlphabetThe Timing ModelConclusion AcknowledgementsReferences
Chapter
Full-text available
Zeigt in einer kombinierten Trend-, Panel- und Apparent-Time-Study den Mundartwandel der beiden Aarauer SDS-Gewährsleute im Vergleich der SDS-Aufnahmen und neuen Aufnahmen von 1995. Daneben werden die beiden Gewährsleute auch mit der übrigen Sprachgemeinschaft verglichen. Es zeigt sich, dass die beiden SDS-Gewährsleute unterschiedliche Entwicklunge...
Article
Full-text available
Die Arbeit, Ausschnitte aus der Dissertation, zeigt auf der Basis von Interviews aus der Mitte der 1990er Jahre im Vergleich mit den SDS-Aufnahmen Veränderungen (und Stabilität) im Laut- und Formensystem der Mundart von Aarau. Statistisch abgesichert wird deutlich, dass Sprecher linguistische Teilsysteme unabhängig voneinander ändern können, und gl...
Book
Full-text available
Die Monographie untersucht Variation und Sprachwandel in der Mundart der Schweizer Kleinstadt Aarau, die im Spannungsfeld zweier starker Mundarträume liegt. Dabei werden nicht nur ausgewählte Aspekte, sondern das gesamte Laut- und Formensystem der Mundart untersucht. Die Arbeit bietet so eine umfassende variationslinguistische Ortsgrammatik. Statis...
Article
Full-text available
In der folgenden Darstellung geht es einerseits darum, an Beispielen aufzuzeigen, inwiefern die schweizerdeutschen Mundarten und die deutsche Standardsprache in Lautung, Formenbildung, Satzbau und Wortschatz auseinandergehen können, andererseits aber immer auch um das Aufweisen von Gemeinsamkeiten. Oft werden nämlich bestimmte Erscheinungen des dia...
Chapter
Full-text available
Stellt die stilistische Varianz in der fossilierten Lernervarietät eines Romands dar. Dabei werden phonetische, morphologische, schwerpunktmäßig syntaktische Elemente untersucht. Es zeigt sich im Spannungsfeld von Mundart und Standardsprache grundsätzlich eine Bevorzugung einfacherer Satzkonstruktionen.
Book
Full-text available
Preprint des Textes von 1997. Der definitive Text ist von der Pro Helvetia etwas gekürzt worden, so dass der vorliegende Text keine direkt zitierfähige Fassung ist. Die Paginierung entspricht demzufolge auch nicht der Druckfassung. Deshalb empfehle ich für diesen Text eine bibliographische Angabe, die die Online-Form berücksichtigt : ----- Sieben...
Article
Full-text available
Empirische Untersuchung schweizerhochdeutscher Leseaussprache in Bern, Zürich und St. Gallen.

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Forschung im Bereich der ostmitteldeutschen Regionalsprache von dialektalen Resten bis zur intendierten Standardsprache / zum Gebrauchsstandard.
Project
With the advent of mobile phones, the way in which people communicate has drastically changed over the past decades and given rise to new forms of informal written communication, not least due to the option of sending text based messages. At the beginning of the century, SMS was the only technology available. It was also the focus of previous research in the sms4science project (the corresponding database is now available for any type of research - www.sms4science.ch), but nowadays, the availability of smartphones and apps has resulted in uncountable new options and features. The best konwon and most used application is WhatsApp, which allows for much more than simply exchanging text-based messages, which is in the focus of our current SNSF-funded research project (CRSII1_160714). However, almost nothing is known on a large-scale level about the features of WhatsApp communication and the media discourse about its use, thus we, as linguists and discourse analysts, have systematically started to describe linguistic features, graphic variation and (meta)discursive aspects of this new form of communication, with a focus on the Swiss national languages. Research questions: Given that the media discourse at times tends to be quite alarmist about language change and language decay stemming from electronically written texts (SMS, WhatsApp etc.) and that people tend to overestimate the influence of language-external factors on language use (such as technological affordances of mobile phones etc.), we established a sufficiently large corpus in order to answer two main questions: 1. What are defining characteristics of current WhatsApp messages (in each of the four Swiss national languages)? What has changed between traditional Swiss text messages and Swiss WhatsApp messages, what has been maintained, and why (concerning linguistic strucures, use of emojis/emoticons, spelling, register-specific style, individualization vs. accommodation)? 2. How do individual users apply these features and how does the press cover them? Subprojects: The project consists of four subprojects: Language(s) of WhatsApp: Verbal Periphrases and Argument Drop Our first team picks out specific grammatical structures and investigates them on WhatsApp messages in different languages. Rossella Maraffino (Bern) studies proressive forms, and Franziska Stuntebeck (Zürich) looks at argument drop, i.e. missing subjects or objects. By looking at these structures in different languages and different contexts, they want to find out whether these are register-specific features, i.e. typical for written electronic communication in general, or mainly technologically induced structures (e.g. more omissions in order to save time in quasi-synchronous communication). Language Design in WhatsApp: Icono/Graphy Etienne Morel (Neuchâtel) and Christina Siever (Zürich) investigate graphical elements in WhatsApp messages. They are interested in changes to graphic strategies in relationship to new correction software, virtual keyboards, and especially new sets of iconographic signs (emojis). For their research, they look at these features across linguistic communities and focus on the specific function of these features in shaping communicative identity. The data they work on is mainly in German (both dialectal and non-dialectal) or French. Individuals in WhatsApp Doctoral student Samuel Felder (Leipzig) studies the linguistic behaviour of individuals in WhatsApp chats by investigating the frequency of the features analysed in the other sub-projects as well as patterns of code-switching in chats. He wants to find out whether - and if so - how people adapt their language use to the way their counterparts communicate. The focus of this research is on Swiss-German dialectal messages. The Cultural Discourses and Social Meanings of Mobile Communication The fourth team is the only one that does not use the WhatsApp database, but rather created their own web-based database comprising press articles in French, German, English and Italian, as their interest is on how the press covers language as it is used in written mobile communication. More precisely, Vanessa Jaroski (Bern) tries to pin down the way Switzerland (and Europe) interpret the revolutionary developments in our communicative behaviour. The linguistic corpus as a common database: All but the fourth sub-projects are based on a citizen science project in which authentic Whats App chats were sent in by the Swiss public in 2014. The corpus that was created from these chats consists of approximately 750,000 messages ("speech bubbles") and 5.5mio tokens (words, emojis, punctuation etc.) that can be used for linguistic research, i.e. messages that contain written text (as opposed to text generated by WhatsApp like "joined the group", internet links etc.) and were authorized by the authors. In order to maintain the texters' privacy, messages for which we did not get consent are disguised. In the texts used for research, names and other private data were anonymized. Along with the WhatsApp messages, we also have demographic information such as age, educational level or geographical origin of the texters available for most of our data. These pieces of information, collected in an online survey, allow for a more detailed investigation into socio-linguistic factors such as age, gender or education that influence language use. Due to massive code-switching in our data, it is not an easy task to group chats into language-specific subcorpora. We thus decided to identify the 'main language' as the one used in more than 100 messages in a specific chat, which gives us the following count: French: 55 chats; Swiss German dialect: 128 chats; non-dialectal German: 21 chats; Italian: 44 chats; Romansh: 16 chats. Other languages (e.g. from the Slavic language family or Spanish) as well as chats shorter than 100 messages can be found in the corpus, too. For the time being, the corpus is available for the research project team, but temporary access can be given to other researchers, including students, upon request. After the end of the project (2019), the corpus will be made openly available for non-commercial use. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) - Sinergia: CRSII1_160714