Summer Spotlight: Luke Lindemann

October 16, 2017

Yale graduate students engage in a variety of activities over the summer, from attending the Linguistic Institute to conducting field research away from campus. Ph.D. candidate Luke Lindemann traveled to his hometown of Austin, Texas, to work on the Texas German Dialect Project (TGDP) at the University of Texas at Austin.

As a large and diverse state, Texas is known for being home to a variety of different languages. The most famous of these is Spanish, due to Texas’s history as a former Mexican state and its modern proximity to Mexico. Many people do not know, however, that Texas is also home to a vibrant community of German immigrants, who have developed their own dialect of German, which is now indigenous to Texas.

The TGDP’s goal is to create an archive of Texas German, so that this unique language will be remembered for generations to come. As a visiting researcher, Luke conducted field interviews at a number of different places in Texas, including Columbus, Stonewall, and Fredericksburg. Additionally, Luke helped to restore, transcribe, and annotate older recordings drawn from existing collections within the archive.

Texas German culture is kept alive at the Gillespie County Schuetzenfest, a traditional German shooting festival held annually near Fredericksburg. Members of the community were available for field interviews at the 122nd festival in Grapetown, where Luke is pictured above with his colleagues Marisol Bayona Román, Margo Blevins, and Martin Riedl.

Luke is now back on campus for the fall semester, where he continues his dissertation research on the Nepali language.

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