The GramAdapt Sociolinguistic Questionnaire is at the center of the project’s data collection process. It also contributes to the project’s goal of creating new methods for comparing sociolinguistic environments with one another and researching whether language structures systematically adapt to those environments. The launch of the questionnaire thus marks an important milestone for the project.
The questionnaire was launched in April 2021 after an initial testing phase. So far over 20 collaborators have completed the questionnaire and more responses are coming in at a steady pace. The responses cover language contact situations from every continent, currently representing a wide variety of languages from over 30 different language families.
In addition to collecting macro-level cultural-demographic data of the contact situations, the questionnaire also surveys contact dynamics in different interactional situations in six different social domains: family and kin, local community, labour, social exchange and marriage, knowledge, and trade. The current results already reveal that the contact situations vary greatly with respect to which domains are relevant for social contact.
Support for collaborators
Since the GramAdapt Questionnaire takes a novel approach to data collection on language contact scenarios, it was very important to give the collaborators enough support to navigate and fill in the questionnaire – something in addition to the traditional email correspondence.
Alongside with the questionnaire, the project launched a separate website to provide instructions for filling out the questionnaire and additional support materials. The collaborators were also invited to join a Discord server, an instant messaging platform, to discuss any questions or issues concerning the questionnaire, or just to chat with other collaborators from around the world.
In the course of this autumn, the project will organise two seminar sessions for the collaborators. These sessions provide an opportunity for the collaborators to meet and greet each other as well as the GramAdapt team members. The GramAdapt team will also present some preliminary results from the questionnaire answers.