Department of Germanic Studies

DH@GS: Our Digital Humanities Projects

Photo of buildings by V. Vanderheijden

The Digital Humanities have been a long-standing component of research and education in the Department of Germanic Studies at UT Austin, reaching back over 60 years.  These ongoing projects interesect with current research and teaching and are critical parts of our department's outreach to the world and to scholars in many fields of the humanities and social sciences.  Visit each one to see their scope and reach!

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DHLab@GS - Digital Humanities Lab

The Digital Humanities Lab (DHLab@GS) is a DH Center at the Department of Germanic Studies and a DH meeting, research and learning space. DHLab@GS acts as a campus-based DH hub at DGS that promotes, supports, develops and coordinates Digital Humanities research and Digital Literacy at undergraduate, graduate, PhD and faculty level. The DHLab@GS lab space at Burdine Hall will host DH workshops, project groups and DH-related social events. DHLab@GS stands for transdisciplinary, integrative DH development in digital research, teaching and learning.   

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The Texas German Dialect Project

TGDP LogoThe TGDP was founded in 2001 as an on-going project devoted to recording and preserving the Texas German language, culture, and history. It continues work on the dialect done in the department since the 1960s, now encompassing a broad vision at the intersection of linguistics and historical-cultural studies.  Faculty and students affiliated with the TGDP collaborate closely with members of other projects investigating German contact varieties around the world, including the Namdeutsch (Namibia German) Project at the Humboldt University Berlin and the Free University of Berlin, the Unserdeutsch (Rabaul Creole German) Project at the University of Bern, and the Datenbank für Gesprochenes Deutsch at the Institute of the German Language (Mannheim). 

Members of the TGDP conduct interviews with residents of representative Texas German speech communities. Portions of these interviews are digitized and subsequently stored for preservation in the Texas German Dialect Archive (TGDA).
The TGDA allows its users to listen to portions of interviews in combination with their transcriptions and translations;  interviewsand other cultural-historical materials are being continuously added. 

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The Gottesman Archive of Yiddish Culture

"The Gottesman Archive of Yiddish Culture," when completed in 2021, will include: the digitilization of 600 audio cassettes, 100 VHS videos. 50 audio DAT tapes , 30 3/4 inch professional video tapes and 300 photographs and printed materials. These recordings document Yiddish culture in NYC from the 1980s to 2010. They include the only video interviews with a dozen East European born Yiddish writers, field recordings of Yiddish folksingers in Israel, Mexico and New York; Yiddish joke tellers, videotaped Yiddish cultural events; interviews with native born Yiddish speakers and field recordings of family gatherings entirely in YIddish. This collection will be of immense value to anyone interested in Yiddish language, literature, linguistics and culture.  For now, enjoy the Yiddish Song of the Week.

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The Linguistics Research Center (LRC)

medieval monk illuminationGermanic Studies faculty and graduate students are heavily involved in the research activities of the Linguistics Research Center (LRC). Founded in 1961, the LRC developed the first successful rule-based machine translation system METAL for translating between English and German. Since the late 1990s, the LRC has dedicated itself to creating freely available online resources for those interested in language, linguistic history, and the relationship between language and society over time. The Early Indo-European OnLine (EIEOL) lesson series introduces the earliest documented languages in each of the major branches of the Indo-European linguistic family tree, including older Germanic languages such as Old English, Gothic, and Old Norse. The LRC currently also is hosting a project on Multilingualism that includes the Texas German Dialect Project

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German Frame-Semantic Online Lexicon (G-FOL)

GFO LogoThe German Frame-Semantic Online Lexicon (G-FOL) is a prototype of a new kind of corpus-based pedagogical dictionary based on the theory of Frame Semantics. It is compiled by the German FrameNet team in Germanic Studies, which is a part of the international research network Global FrameNet

The goal of G-FOL is to help students learn how words are used in modern-day German. This online resource is different from traditional dictionaries and textbooks because it is based on empirical data from electronic corpora. As such, students can easily access up-to-date information about the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic contexts in which a German word is used. Thanks to G-FOL’s web-based architecture, the lexicon easily links to other pedagogical resources in digital format and can be updated with new words or new usages of existing words.

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The Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Laboratory

The SLAB Lab explores language acquisition and bilingualism from a variety of different perspectives. Much of our research is focused on how learners comprehend language and how language instruction influences comprehension processes. In order to investigate these issues, we use a variety of digital tools and assessments that allow us to examine how learners engage with written and spoken texts. The SLAB Lab brings together faculty, graduate and undergraduate students with backgrounds in linguistics and the humanities. The faculty and students affiliated with the SLAB Lab collaborate with scholars based in the US and abroad.

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RESOURCES FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING

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Deutsch im Blick

DIB is a multimedia 1st-year German language program based on videos of native speakers and the University of Texas Summer Program in Würzburg, Germany. The online textbook includes recorded vocabulary, phonetics lessons, an online grammar component, online comparative polls and internet writing activities.

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OTHER CAMPUS PROJECT/ENTITIES 

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Several other units on campus are also our collaborators on other projects:  see the followin guide to Digital Studies Programs at UT:  https://guides.lib.utexas.edu/digitalhumanities/dh-at-ut-austin  and Digital Humanities Tools and Resources at: https://guides.lib.utexas.edu/digitalhumanities/text-analysis-data-mining  and https://guides.lib.utexas.edu/digitalhumanities/gis-mapping 

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The Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning

COERLL is one of 16 National Foreign Language Resource Centers (LRC's) funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The overall mission of these federally-funded centers is to improve the teaching and learning of foreign languages by producing resources (materials and best practices) that can be profitably employed in a variety of settings.”

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Foreign Language Teaching Methods

Foreign Language Teaching Methods focuses on 12 different aspects of language teaching, each taught by a different expert instructor. The site contains video footage from an actual methods course held at the University of Texas at Austin. This flexible resource is designed to be used by foreign language teachers as a component of a classroom methods course or as a stand-alone course for independent learners. The "Reading" unit is by Professor Janet Swaffar of the department.

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Frame Semantics for Language Learning

Frame Semantics for Language Learning develops a prototype of a multilingual corpus-based lexicon of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. The multilingual dictionary will be used at all levels of language instruction to help students acquire and use vocabulary more easily. This online resource is different from traditional print dictionaries in that it is based on large electronic corpora, which illustrate how words are used in real life contexts. As such, students will be able to access all the information about the exhaustive inventory of contexts in which a word may appear. Each lexical entry provides detailed information about a word’s register, its frequency, and how it is related to other words. A major advantage of its web-based architecture is that the lexicon can be constantly updated whenever new words or new usages of existing words are attested in the language. This allows students to learn how words are used in modern-day language. Finally, the web-based lexicon can be linked to other electronic resources that already exist in electronic format for a wide variety of languages.