• Narrativité : paroles, textes, images (2013-2016), coord. F. Jacquesson
Le projet a été déposé dans le cadre du 1er Appel à Projet du PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité. It est prévu sur trois ans, du 1er juin 2013 au 31 mai 2016.
Nous examinons différents types de "récits en images", en Europe et en Asie (Chine, Inde, Japon, Tibet) confrontés à leur source textuelle, et étudiés quand c'est possible dans leur contexte vivant. Cette perspective ne prétend aucunement subordonner les arts figuratifs aux textes, ni réduire la spécificité de chaque "support", mais elle souhaite se donner une méthode comparative précisément afin d'essayer de déterminer ce qui dans chaque domaine lui est propre, et ce qui reste comparable.
Le projet est donc organisé sur deux axes :
(A) l'axe des "supports narratifs" : texte, série d'images, et dans certains cas récits théâtralisés,
(B) l'axe "culturel" puisque l'étude sera menée dans des cultures différentes.
L'équipe est constituée de chercheurs et d'étudiants ou post-doc spécialistes de ces cultures et qui appartiennent à des champs disciplinaires variés : anthropologie, histoire, histoire de l'art, linguistique, littérature.
• Ḍād types in south-west Saudi Arabia (2011-2013), coord. M. Al-Azraqi, B. Heselwood, S. Naim & J. Watson
This research brings together historical linguistics, Arabic dialectology, geographical linguistics, instrumental phonetics and linguistic typology.
Dạ̄d is the name of the Arabic letter ض which corresponds to a sound-type which varies across different varieties of modern Arabic. Historically this sound was believed to be unique to the language, leading the medieval Arab grammarians to describe Arabic as 'the language of ḍād'. Today ḍād corresponds to a sound-type with realisations that vary across the Arab world. This variation is due in part to contact with other languages (substrata, adstrata and superstrata). In most modern Arabic varieties, the sound is produced with complete closure between the sides of the tongue and the inner surfaces of the molars; in some of these dialects, it is realised as a voiced plosive (a bit like the 'd' in English dark); in others, it is realised as a voiced central fricative (like the 'th' in English the); in both variants, it is accompanied by a narrowing of the pharynx (pharyngealisation). These realisations contrast significantly with the medieval descriptions of scholars such as Sībawayh (8th century) in which the air was said to exit from the sides of the tongue rather like it does in an English 'l'-sound, but accompanied by friction and pharyngealisation – [ɮˁ] in International Phonetic Alphabet notation.
Through the work of Dr Al-Azraqi, it has recently come to light that speakers in some of the more remote villages in south-west Saudi Arabia produce the ḍād as a lateral sound after the medieval fashion (Al-Azraqi 2010). The current project is using, in addition to traditional auditory phonetic analysis, the instrumental phonetic methods of sound spectrography and electropalatography (the latter equipment purchased with the University of Leeds Faculty of Arts SRIF money a few years ago) to try to ascertain the tongue position more precisely and to compare it with the tongue position in other sounds in these dialects. Barry Heselwood's role is to analyse the instrumental data so that the other members of the project team can use this information to set this sound, and these dialects, in their historical context from phonological, dialectological and typological points of view.
Al-Azraqi, M. (2010) The Ancient Ḍād in Southwest Saudi Arabia. Arabica 57, 57-67.
• The Kurumba Languages of the Nilgiris in South India (2009-2012 renouvelé 2012-2014), coord. F. Heidemann & C. Pilot-Raichoor
The aim of the project is to collect, archive and make available a long lasting and multipurpose multimedia documentation of the language and culture of the Kurumbas in South India. The Kurumbas live in small groups dispersed on the slopes and in the forest areas encircling the Nilgiris. This mountainous massif rises abruptly and culminates in a hilly plateau ranging from 2000 - 2600 m in elevation, bordered by dense, tropical forest extending to its foothills. The whole Nilgiri area is sparsely inhabited by very small and mobile tribal groups, depending mainly on the environment for subsistence. The urgency of the documentation is motivated by the fast disruption of the traditional social ties and ways of life. The project will document the Kurumba language spoken by four distinct groups of people: the Jenu Kurumba, the Alu Kurumba, the Cholanaika and the Mullu Kurumba. The French-Indian-German project will give priority to the linguistic and ethnographic features linked to the natural environment, the tribal mode of life and the specific Nilgiri cultural traditions. For instance, a search for 'honey collection' will give access to videos showing how different groups practice it, to the audio files and annotated texts of the narratives and songs related to this activity, to the vocabulary connected to this theme.