Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
Tel.: +49 (341) 3550 - 326
Fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 333
Sven Grawunder received his diploma in Speech Science from the Martin Luther University in Halle. (He had also studied Phonetics and German linguistics at Halle University and Central Asian Studies and Netherlands Studies at Leipzig University.) He defended his PhD in Speech Science in 2005 at Halle University. As a team member of the "Tofa"(ASLEP) [link: http] endangered language documentation project (2000-2004) he worked within the DOBES program of Volkswagen Foundation. he works at the linguistics department as a postdoc research fellow in joint cooperation of several projects and as head of the MPI EvA phonetics lab.
Sven Grawunder's main research interests are dynamics of speaker variation and sound change, areal typology and modeling of glottalization, voice quality in extra-/para- and linguistic use, speech rhythm, developing phonetic fieldwork.
Areal Typology of glottalization in the languages of the Caucasus and Transcaucasus
The project focuses sound inventories containing sounds with a glottalic airstream mechanism, specifically in the languages of the Caucasus (currently included: Tsez, Bezhta, Ingush, Chechen, Dargwa, Khwarshi, Avar, Karata, Lak, Kumyk, Georgian, Svan, Kabardian, Circassian) and Transcaucasus (e.g. Kurdish, Armenian, Azerbaidjani) with the aim to explore to nature of transitional expressions of features [work with Don Stilo (MPI EvA Leipzig), Madzhid Khalilov (AcadSc Makhachkala, Daghestan), Adrian Simpson (U Jena)]
Language documentation of Ghulfan (Kordofan-Nubian language in Sudan)
This is a joint language documentation project with Robert S. Williams (The American University in Cairo) and Angelika Jakobi (U Bayreuth). Ghulfan belongs to a group of fairly underdocumented languages of the people in the Nuba mountains in Southern Sudan. The project goal is a full description of all aspects of the grammar, including documentation of all main text genres.
Phonetics and Phonology of South Munda languages]
Gta'(Didayi) and Bonda (Remo) belong to the southern group of Munda languages of the Austoasiatic language family spoken in India. The small-scale fieldwork documentation project of Gta' and Bonda texts is a joint cooperation with Arun Gosh from Burdwan University (India).
Phonetics and Tonology of Ket
Ket is a severely endangered language in Western Siberia. It is the last survivor of its group of Yeniseic languages and the only known language of North Asia which has lexical tone. the joint work with Edward Vaijda from Western Washington U focuses the phonology and tonology of Ket which is unique in Northern Eurasia.
Vilela (Lule Vilela) phonetics and phonology
What happens if you would be the last speaker of a language? Vilela is such a moribund language spoken in the Chaco area of Argentina. The scarce records point to interesting phonetic-phonemic variation in Vilela. Detailed phonetic analyses of recordings of the last speaker(s) (joint work with Lucia Gallucio (U Buenos Aires) and Juliette Blevins (MPI EVA)).
West !Xoon (Taa) phonetics and phonology
This joint work with Christfried Naumann, MPI EvA, Leipzig [link] sets its main focus on phonation types, glottalization and laryngeal-velar coordination in Western !Xóõ a language of the Taa group (KhoeSan).
Acoustic and auditory correlates of overall characteristics of speech]
One of the main problems in recent discourse about the typology of rhythmic patterns of languages (joint work with René Schiering, U Münster) is how to match the auditory and psycho-phonetically derived categories with their quantifiable acoustic correlates. Apparently other perceptional values like pitch bear the same problem and need to be matched with common acoustic methods (joint Ines Bose, Uni Halle).
Phonetically motivated sound change in onset clusters of German
This project investigates the [kl>tl] shift of initial consonant clusters in Saxon and other German dialects [joint work with Juliette Blevins, MPI EvA, Leipzig].
Pharyngealization in German dialects (Swabian, Thuringian and Saxonian)
Usually such phonetic descriptions like ATR (Advanced Tongue Root) and pharyngealization are associated with languages in Africa (e.g. Aka, Oko, Ewe) or semitic languages. But a closer look at the so called "dark" vowels in some German dialects reveals the universal nature of the underlying articulation strategies ongoing ultrasound data collection, subjects needed!
Für unser Projekt zu Aussprachebesonderheiten des Thüringisch-Sächsischen Sprachraums benötigen wir dringend Sprecher und Sprecherinnen, die sich in ihrem Dialekt auskennen, wohl fühlen und für Tonaufnahmen bereit wären.