First International Workshop on the History of Speech Communication Research (HSCR 2015)

Dresden, Germany
September 4-5, 2015

The Early Swiss Dialect Recording Collection “LA” (1924–1927): A Description and a Work Plan for Its Comprehensive Edition

Dieter Studer-Joho

Institut für Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft: Phonogrammarchiv, Universität Zürich, Switzerland

Between 1924 and 1927 – and again in 1929 – the Phonogram Archives of the University of Zurich collaborated with Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Doegen of the Lautabteilung der Preussischen Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin in a dialectological recording campaign. Each year, Doegen was invited to travel to Switzerland from Berlin for a few days with his heavy recording equipment to collect a few dozen dialect specimens recorded with speakers from all over Switzerland. Before each recording session suitable speakers were carefully selected – mainly based on dialectological criteria – and were asked to prepare a short text for recitation (usually in their vernacular), which they then delivered into Doegen’s phonograph. All in all, some 225 shellac records could be produced in this fashion, before Doegen fell in disfavour in Berlin and could no longer continue his collaboration with Zurich. While the recordings from the later so-called “LM” campaign in 1929, which were collected in the southern Swiss town of Bellinzona and the northern Italian town of Domodossola, have either already been published or are in the process of being published, the ca. 175 recordings from the 1924–1927 “LA” campaign, collected in Zurich, Bern, Chur, Sion and Brig, respectively, have been published only partially. This paper discusses the possibilities in making this precious Swiss dialectological treasure trove available both to the interested public and to dialectological research.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Studer-Joho, Dieter (2015): "The early Swiss dialect recording collection “LA” (1924–1927): a description and a work plan for its comprehensive edition", In HSCR-2015, 87-94.