Volume 08 : Language Documentation & Conservation

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 40
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    Notes from the Field: Baskeet Phonological Sketch and Digital Wordlist
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2014-12) Treis, Yvonne ; Werth, Alexander
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    Review of For the sake of a song: Wangga songmen and their repositories
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2014-12) Moyle, Richard
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    Ex-situ Documentation of Ethnobiology
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2014-12) Lahe-Deklin, Francesca ; Si, Aung
    Migrant speakers of endangered languages living in urban centers in developed countries represent a valuable resource through which these languages may be conveniently documented. Here, we first present a general methodology by which linguists can compile a meaningful set of visual (and sometimes audio) stimuli with which to carry out a reasonably detailed ethnobiological elicitation session in an ‘ex-situ’ setting, such as an urban university. We then showcase some preliminary results of such an elicitation carried out on the Dumo, or Vanimo, language of north-western Papua New Guinea during a linguistic field methods course at the Australian National University. With the help of a region-specific set of visual stimuli obtained from various sources, it was possible to document many fascinating aspects of the fish, and other marine-biological, knowledge of Dumo speakers, along with detailed ethnographic notes on the cultural significance of marine creatures.
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    Review of Developing Orthographies for Unwritten Languages
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2014-12) Roberts, David
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    How To Study a Tone Language
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014-12) Hyman, Larry
    In response to requests I have often got as to how one approaches a tone language, I present a personal view of the three stages involved, starting from scratch and arriving at an analysis: Stage I: Determining the tonal contrasts and their approximate phonetic allotones. Stage II: Discovering any tonal alternations (“morphotonemics”). Stage III: establishing the tonal analysis itself. While most emphasis in the literature concerns this last stage, I show how the analysis crucially depends on the first two. A detailed illustration is presented from Oku, a Grassfields Bantu language spoken in Cameroon on which I personally worked in the field. The paper concludes with discussion of issues arising in other tone languages, illustrated by Corejuage (Tukanoan, Colombia), Peñoles Mixtec (Otomanguean, Mexico), Villa Alta Yatzachi Zapotec (Otomanguean, Mexico), Luganda (Bantu, Uganda), Hakha Lai (Tibeto-Burman, Myanmar and Northeast India), and Haya (Bantu, Tanzania). *This paper is in the series How to Study a Tone Language, edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman
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    The experimental state of mind in elicitation: illustrations from tonal fieldwork
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014-12) Yu, Kristine M.
    This paper illustrates how an “experimental state of mind”, i.e. principles of experimental design, can inform hypothesis generation and testing in structured fieldwork elicitation. The application of these principles is demonstrated with case studies in toneme discovery. Pike’s classic toneme discovery procedure is shown to be a special case of the application of experimental design. It is recast in two stages: (1) the inference of the hidden structure of tonemes based on unexplained variability in the pitch contour r emaining, even after other sources of influence on the pitch contour are accounted for, and (2) the confirmation of systematic effects of hypothesized tonal classes on the pitch contour in elicitations structured to control for confounding variables that could obscure the relati on between tonal classes and the pitch contour. Strategies for controlling the confounding variables, such as blocking and randomization, are discussed. The two stages are exemplified using data elicited from the early stages of toneme discovery in Kirikiri, a language of New Guinea. *This paper is in the series How to Study a Tone Language, edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman
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    On Establishing Underlying Tonal Contrast
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014-12) Snider, Keith
    Phonological field work is largely about establishing contrast in comparable environments. The notion of phonological contrast, however, can be confusing, particularly in its application to tone analysis. Does it mean phonemic contrast in the structuralist sense, or does it mean underlying contrast in the generative sense? Many linguists, in publications otherwise written from a generative perspective, support underlying tonal contrasts with minimal pairs and other data that are based on structuralist criteria. This paper critiques how tonal contrast is often supported in the literature and demonstrates that many supposed minimal pairs are invalid from a generative perspective. It further demonstrates that because many morphemes in tone languages consist solely of floating tones, the potential for these cannot be ignored when establishing comparable phonological environments. *This paper is in the series How to Study a Tone Language, edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman
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    On beginning the study of the tone system of a Dene (Athabaskan) language: Looking back
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014-12) Rice, Keren
    In this paper I review the methodology that I used in beginning my early fieldwork on a tonal Athabaskan language, including preparation through reading and listening, working with speakers, organizing data, and describing and analyzing the data, stressing how these are not steps or stages, but intersect and interact with each other. *This paper is in the series How to Study a Tone Language, edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman
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    The study of tone in languages with a quantity contrast
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014-12) Remijsen, Bert
    This paper deals with the study of tone in languages that additionally have a phonological contrastive of quantity, such as vowel length or stress. In such complex word-prosodic systems, tone and the quantity contrast(s) can be fully independent of one another, or they may interact. Both of these configurations are illustrated in this paper, and the phonetic pressures underlying the development of interactions are laid out. The paper pays particular attention to the challenge of investigating complex word-prosodic systems. Central to the approach advocated here is the combination of qualitative fieldwork data collection methods with instrumental analysis. *This paper is in the series How to Study a Tone Language, edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman
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    Studying tones in North East India: Tai, Singpho and Tangsa
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014-12) Morey, Stephen
    Drawing on nearly 20 years of study of a variety of languages in North East India, from the Tai and Tibeto-Burman families, this paper examines the issues involved in studying those languages, building on three well established principles: (a) tones are categories within a language, and the recognition of those categories is the key step in describing the tonal system; (b) in at least some languages, tones are a bundle of features, of which (relative) pitch is only one; and (c) tones may carry different levels of functional load in different languages. I will discuss the use of historical and comparative data to assist with tonal analysis, while raising the possibility that the tonal categories of individual words may vary from one language variety to the next. Different approaches to marking tones, for linguistic transcriptions, presentation of acoustic data (F0) and in practical orthographies are discussed, along with the effect of intonation and grammatical factors such as nominalisation on the realisation of tones. *This paper is in the series How to Study a Tone Language, edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman