FRED is being compiled by a research team under supervision of Professor Bernd Kortmann at the University of Freiburg, receiving major funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG grant KO-1181/1,2) during the period 2000 through 2005. The primary aim of compiling FRED is to provide a sound database that helps strengthen research on morpho-syntactic variation in the British Isles (read up here why dialect grammar matters).
English dialects in a more narrow sense therefore are in the focus of interest, but the so-called Celtic Englishes (i.e. Irish, Welsh and Scottish English, including their regional varieties) are considered as well. The morphology and syntax of regional varieties are a much neglected topic in dialect research in general – not only in English dialectology. One reason for this neglect is certainly the fact that for this type of research a much greater amount of data is needed than for phonological studies; another is that the relevant material is difficult to elicit. By compiling a comprehensive machine-readable corpus that aims at representativeness for the relevant dialect areas, the present project tries to fill a gap in the field. In the future, this corpus will form a solid basis for dialectological and other sociolinguistic studies. Phonological studies are not envisaged.
The theoretical pillar of this project is to be found in functional typology. The overarching aim of this projects is therefore to determine patterns and limits of variation within the dialects of a single language (here: English), in order to integrate the language-specific results into the types of variation that are observable across the languages of the world. For this undertaking, a typological framework is indispensable, both in terms of questions that need to be addressed, methods that should be employed, and explanations that can be put forward. Thus, the project opens new perspectives for dialectology, typology, corpus linguistics and for sociolinguistics, since we also want to explore how regional dialect features develop into general features of informal spoken Standard English.
User's Guide to FRED
Corpus Design and Profile
Oral History Material and Dialectological Studies
Sample Texts and Audio Files
Chair Prof. Bernd Kortmann
University of Freiburg