Volume 17 : Language Documentation & Conservation
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ItemCotopaxi Media Lengua is still very much alive(University of Hawaii Press, 2023-04)On a 2022 fieldtrip to Ecuador, we encountered a large community of Media Lengua speakers in the province of Cotopaxi where the language was thought to be dormant. This is the same region where Pieter Muysken had first documented this ‘mixed language’ in the 1970s. However, subsequent fieldwork thereabout by several linguists had failed to turn up the language. This field report provides a brief introduction to Media Lengua, a description of our fieldwork in Cotopaxi, and insights into this variety of Media Lengua.
ItemZooming through Field Methods: Teaching language documentation remotely(University of Hawaii Press, 2023-04)The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted not only how linguistic fieldwork is conducted but also how university-level field methods courses are taught. In this paper, we detail the methodology utilized during the 2020–21 academic year by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Linguistics for the entirely remote Field Methods sequence documenting Bua (Kubulau) Fijian. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of conducting a field methods course using videoconferencing software and present recommendations for teaching such a course online. While the necessity of holding classes remotely will wane with the pandemic, we believe that remote modalities nevertheless show promise for future application and innovation in linguistic data collection and that competence in remote field methods should be taken as both a useful and necessary part of linguistic training.
ItemAn exploration of historical Alutiiq language texts(University of Hawaii Press, 2023-04)For the past five years, the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository has been documenting intricacies of the Alutiiq language with the help of Elder speakers and a grant from the National Science Foundation (#1360839). The project’s primary focus has been recording vocabulary, grammar, and ways of speaking for this threatened Native Alaskan language. However, historical texts also offer insight into Alutiiq speech. In the late 1700s, foreigners began writing words and phrases in Alutiiq, creating rare records of the language as spoken in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Staff members have been searching archival texts for archaic Alutiiq vocabulary to bring awareness of it to community members. Archives in Berkeley, California; Washington, DC; and St. Petersburg, Russia, have provided valuable linguistic information for addition to the corpus of Alutiiq language documentation. The project is breathing new life into ancestral vocabulary by sharing it with the last generation of first-language Alutiiq speakers for pronunciation and interpretation. It is also allowing students of Alutiiq to learn aspects of the language that have not been used in living memory.