Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Talk: "Immigrant Languages in Contact: The Case of Texas Czech" by Dr. Lida Cope

Mon, April 7, 2014 | BUR 231

3:30 PM


The Texas Czech Legacy Project at the University of Texas at Austin represents collaborative effort of scholars from the University of Texas at Austin and East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. The Project’s ultimate goal is to document and preserve the dying Texas Czech dialect (in its Oral Archive) and make available various artifacts representing the Texas Czech community’s linguistic and ethno-cultural heritage (in its Visual Archive).  This presentation will (1) discuss the process of building the Project’s digital open-access repository, introducing our demonstration website; and (2) demonstrate usability of   a searchable oral corpus of Texas Czech for scholars studying the effects of cross-linguistically induced language change and shift in a historically immigrant language community, the leveling of source dialectal features and development of the so-called “Texas Czech Standard” (Eckert & Hannan, 2009; Eckert 2007).  We will review major morphological, syntactic and discourse features of Texas Czech and listen to sample recordings from Texas Czech speakers, simultaneously viewing tokenized and free transcriptions of their speech. The presentation will end with some of the puzzles the TCLP team has dealt with in trying to develop a transcription guide for a reduced language mixing standard and vernacular, often archaic, features.

Lida Cope is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where she has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in linguistics, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and TESOL since 2000; and an External Research Associate with the Department for Slavic and Euroasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. A native of the Czech Republic, she has academic degrees from Palacký University (Olomouc, Czech Republic) and University of Arizona at Tucson. Her research interests include Texas Czech; immigrant/heritage community language documentation, revitalization and maintenance; language and ethnic identity; child bilingualism; language contact and first language attrition; and cross-cultural communication. She has written on the language, culture, and ethnicity in historically Czech Moravian communities in Texas. Since her fieldwork in Texas in 1997, she has maintained strong ties with the Texas Czech community, scholars at the Briscoe Center, University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University at College Station.  She is dedicated to the success of The Texas Czech Legacy Project for which she believes the University of Texas at Austin, the heart of the historically ‘Czech Texas’, is the most logical location. She is fortunate to have support of her home department at East Carolina University in this effort.

Check out our flyer for the talk here!

Sponsored by: Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Department of Germanic Studies

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