October 22, 2004

The answer

The mp3 for yesterday's quiz was sent in by Stefano Taschini. It was "a fragment from Monday's radio news of the Radio e Televisiun Rumantscha, the swiss broadcasting company in Romansh". I believe that it is the variety called Rumantsch grischun in this page on il territori linguistic rumantsch.

Sauvage Noble transcribed accurately and guessed correctly. So did Chris Waigl at serendipity. (Not that they entirely agree, with one another or with me. The question of what is "right" in such cases is an interesting one, which I'll pick up another day, as I'm literally running out the door to catch a train). Ray Girvan didn't transcribe, but guessed the language correctly by email.

I'm a bit pressed for time today, so more comments and links will have to wait until tomorrow.

[Update: it's coffee break time at the NSF Cyberinfrastructure Workshop where I'm spending my day, so I'll take a minute to note that the folks over at Planet Debian think that it's the Surmiran dialect, not the Grischun dialect. I think they're right, in fact -- /pi/ vs. /pli/ looks like a clue, based on the (orthographic) renditions in the Fox and Crow passage linked above. I may have been misled by the mention of Grischun in the original recording. More on this later.

This seems to have been a popular exercise -- maybe we'll try it again in a month.]

Posted by Mark Liberman at October 22, 2004 03:32 AM