Louisiana French: An Analysis of the Verb Frequency within 28 interviews in Louisiana French
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The goal of our project is to assist in the sociolinguistic research of Dr. Carmichael and Dr. Gudmestad. Their project involves the research of Louisiana French, a dialect of the French language, spoken in Louisiana. When we first contacted our clients expressing our interest in this project, they sent us a corpus of interviews conducted by Dr. Carmichael. These transcribed dialogues analyze the dialogue of the interviewees speaking in Louisiana French. Our group’s goal is to help our clients analyze verb frequencies in the interviews given to us. We are initially given a verb bank, and our responsibilities are to find and count each conjugation of each verb in the bank. To find each conjugation, we had to account for both regular and irregular verbs in the bank. Irregular verbs are conjugated differently, and for that reason, it involves a different conjugation process. Our first phase of the project involved getting familiarized with the French language in general and how conjugations of a verb, in French, take place. During this time, we have also decided to use Python to build scripts that would extract data from our corpus. Though generating Python scripts was the original implementation, we soon realized that using TreeTagger software would be the best and most efficient way to go about the next steps of our project. TreeTagger is a software that can annotate text with part of speech information. Using this software, we are able to calculate the frequency of specific verbs and verb conjugations by parsing the data returned from TreeTagger. TreeTagger uses parameter files for specific languages in order to determine the parts of speech for sentences. Our group is currently using the French parameter file. In some instances, however, French and Louisiana French can differ. For this reason, we have decided that we need to implement a parameter file specifically for that dialect. Our clients, in this way, can make use of the TreeTagger specifically for their dialect of interest. As an additional requirement, we will create a training corpus for the TreeTagger and turn it into a parameter file so it can assist our client for their future endeavors in researching Louisiana French.