The Oslo Corpus of Pskov Dialects is based on recordings of the living speech of rural inhabitants of the Russian Northwestern Region of Pskov (Pskovskaja oblast’). The recordings were carried out in the summers of 1992, 1993 and 1994 during field expeditions of approximately three weeks duration, in late June and early July. The field-work was organized and carried out by Jan Ivar Bjørnflaten in close collaboration with Valerij N. Čekmonas from the University of Vilnius.
In the first summer, various parts of the Pskov region were visited in order to gain an overall impression of the oral speech of the native speakers of the local dialects. The second summer, extensive recordings were carried out in villages along the eastern shore of the Peipus lake, as well as in the adjacent regions of Novgorod (Novgorodskaja oblast’) and Tver’ (Tverskaja oblast’). The third and last expedition conducted recordings of the Balto-Finnic language Vepsian in settlements along the river Ojat’ on the isthmus between the lakes of Ladoga and Onega. In addition, recordings were conducted in the central parts of the Pskov region, in the Sudoma heights, (Sudomskaja vozvyšennost’) and in settlements of Old Believers between the town of Opočka and the Latvian border.
The recordings contain extensive materials on the living, natural speech of a generation born before 1920, i.e. in their 70-ies at the time of the recordings. The informants, above all women and not few illiterate, tell about peasant life in Russia before the collectivization of agriculture in the late 20-ies, the terror in the 30-ies, the war and the German occupation, and the gruesome life in the kolchozy in the post-war years.
Altogether, some 150 hours of Russian dialect speech are recorded. Approximately one third of the recordings were transcribed in 1997 by Ljubov’ M. Karamyševa from The State University of St. Petersburg.
Due to a grant from The Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages and in collaboration with the Text Laboratory, a part of the recordings are now being established as a corpus with synchronized sound and transcriptions and made accessible for a wide range of users like dialectologists, anthropologists, historians and others.