Digital Archive of Southern Speech (DASS) was developed by the University
of Georgia. It is a subset of the
Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS),
which is in turn part of the Linguistic Atlas
Project (LAP). DASS contains approximately 370 hours of English speech data
from 30 female speakers and 34 male speakers in .wav format and in .mp3 format,
along with associated metadata about the speakers and the recordings and maps
in .jpeg format relating to the recording locations.
LAP consists of a set of survey research projects about the words and pronunciation
of everyday American English, the largest project of its kind in the United
States. Interviews with thousands of native speakers across the country have
been carried out since 1929. LAGS
surveyed the everyday speech of Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,
Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas in a series of 914 audio-taped interviews conducted
from 1968-1983. Interviews average approximately six hours in length; the systematic
LAGS tape archive amounts to 5500 hours of sound recordings. DASS is a collection
of 64 interviews from LAGS selected to cover a range of speech across the region
and to represent multiple education levels and ethnic backgrounds.
This release is distributed on an external hard drive and contains instructions for using the media and navigating to the LICHEN
The DASS speakers' average age is 61 years; there are 30 women and 34 men
from the Gulf States region represented in this release. The interviews cover
common topics such as family, the weather, household articles and activities,
agriculture and social connections.
The interviews were originally recorded in the field on reel-to-reel audio
tape. A digital version of every reel of tape was then made, one .wav file per
reel, usually about one hour of sound. Each interview thus consists of a set
of 3 to 13 reels, or roughly 3 to 13 interview hours. Personally identifying
or sensitive information in the files was replaced with a tone to protect the
privacy and to assure ethical treatment of speakers. Each .wav file is split
into multiple .mp3 files based on the topic of conversation and labeled thusly.
Included spreadsheets provide information about the speakers, the labels used
for topics and the sound files.
Also included in this release is a version of the LICHEN software developed
at the University of Oulu, Finland. LICHEN allows users to browse and search
through the audio data in a more advanced fashion using a graphical interface.
Further information and instructions
for LICHEN can be found within the docs folder of this release.
None at this time.
For an example of the data contained in this corpus, review this
The following people were involved with the DASS project:
William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., Paulina Bounds, Jacqueline Hettel and Steven Coats
University of Georgia
Lisa Lena Opas-Hänninen, Ilkka Juuso and Tapio Seppänen
University of Oulu (Finland)
The Atlas Data contained herein comprises information collected in the period
spanning from the 1930s to 2010 and has been compiled from diverse sources,
by, and under the direction of, Dr. William A. Kretzschmar, Harry and Jane
Wilson Professor in Humanities at the Department of English of The University
Compilation and digitalization of this work was funded, in part, by the US
National Science Foundation and by the US National Endowment for the Humanities.
Additional information about the Atlas Project can be obtained at http://www.lap.uga.edu/Home.html.
Portions © 1982-2010 American Dialect Society, © 1986-2010 University of Georgia
Research Foundation, © 2012 Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania