On May 12th, 2017 the Department of Linguistics marked the graduation of the class of 2017, including 8 doctoral students and 5 MA students. This year’s class of PhD students had a time-to-degree of 4.86 years – an amazing number, given the amount of time spent in the field! Moreover, each student is on their way to successful careers, some in tenure track positions, some in postdoctoral research positions, and some into industry. We wish them all the best, and look forward to their speedy return.
On May 12th, 2017, Professor Bob Blust was awarded the Linguistics Lifetime Achievement in Research Award for his contributions to our understanding of human language, and the Austronesian language family in particular. The Vice Chancellor for Research of UH Manoa, Dr. Michael Bruno, presented Professor Blust with the award, noting the incredible quality and quantity of Professor Blust’s scholarship. His contributions to our understanding of a language family that is of such strategic importance to this university is of particular note: the Austronesian language family includes languages such as Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Tagalog and Ilocano – languages of immense importance to the people of Hawaii.
Congratulations, and thank you for all that you have done and continue to do in the field!
Kudos and congratulations to 1st-year MA student Daniel Lin, who has won the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, a nine-month fellowship to study and conduct field research in Taiwan during the 2017-18 academic year.
The mission of the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship is:
To encourage international students and individuals to undertake Mandarin Chinese language study in Taiwan, the Ministry of Education (MOE) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) established the Ministry Of Education Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (HES) Program in 2005. While providing language study opportunities for Mandarin Chinese and to learn about Taiwan’s culture at certified university or college-affiliated Mandarin training centers.
Good work Dan!
Professor Emeritus Al Schütz recently published a paper on the first Hawaiian primer in the journal Palapala:
Schütz, Albert J. 2017a. Reading between the lines: A closer look at the first Hawaiian
primer (1822). Palapala– He Puke Pai no ka ʻOlelo me ka Moʻolelo Hawaiʻi (A Journal
for Hawaiian Language and Literature) 1:1–29, 173–90.
This is related to the presentation he gave earlier at the Mission Houses Museum.
The Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives held its annual meeting on 22 April 2017. The focus for this year’s meeting was the newly restored Print Shop, which, in 1822, produced the first book in Hawaiian (The Alphabet, a 16-page language primer). It was this book that marked the beginning of Hawaiian literacy.
To emphasize the cooperation between the Hawaiians and the American missionary/linguists, Executive Director Tom Woods arranged for talks and papers related to the complementary aspects of the project. John Laimana, historian, spoke on how the Hawaiians embraced, aided, and encouraged the palapala (‘writing; book’). Al Schütz explained how the unusual content and organization of The Alphabet could be traced to Noah Webster’s primers of the period, extremely popular and familiar to nearly every American student. He also reframed the primer in modern linguistic terms, showing how a number of its features could be explained by the authors’ inability to recognize glottal stops and long vowels.
For more information, please find the eNewsletter below:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have collectively awarded grants totaling $448,464 over a three-year period to fund a project involving multiple University of Hawaiʻi campuses to build a digital online repository of spoken Hawaiian language, or ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
The NSF grant is for $283,464, while the NEH portion totals $165,000. The awards are effective August 1, 2017 and will be managed by Principal Investigator Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani (KHUOK) College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, along with co-Principal Investigators Larry Kimura, associate professor at KHUOK, and Andrea Berez-Kroeker, associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at UH Mānoa.
The project, entitled “Building a Hawaiian Spoken Language Repository,” will create Kaniʻāina, a digital corpus of recordings and transcripts of Native Hawaiian language. Kaniʻāina will feature hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings, fully searchable transcripts in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, catalog information in both English and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, and a unique crowd-sourcing feature for soliciting enhanced transcription and content-tagging of the recordings from the public.
The recordings and transcripts will be accessible online at Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library, beginning with Phase 1 of the first two collections: Ka Leo Hawaiʻi and Ku i ka Manaleo, later this year. The content will be archived for long-term preservation in Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawaiʻi Digital Language Archive, which is part of ScholarSpace, the UH institutional repository.
Kawaiʻaeʻa says the awards also include funding for undergraduate research opportunities and for a cross-campus graduate educational exchange in language documentation and revitalization, which is especially timely.
“We are elated that we can now move toward building a larger public repository of audio and visual native speaker collections to support the growing population of Hawaiian speakers,” Kawaiʻaeʻa said. “Kaniʻāina comes at a crucial time when the number of Hawaiian speakers is increasing as the last of the native speaking elders is rapidly dwindling. We now estimate the number of elder native speakers outside of the Niʻihau community to total between 20 and 30.”
Data from an April 2016 report by the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism on Hawaiʻi’s non- English speaking population found the number of persons aged 5 and older who spoke Hawaiian at home statewide totaled 18,400. Kawaiʻaeʻa also noted that more than 3,000 students are presently enrolled in Hawaiian-immersion schools P-12, while 13,500 are enrolled in Hawaiian language coursework in public and private educational institutions, and 2,000 students are enrolled in similar coursework at UH campuses.
Kawaiʻaeʻa says the broader impacts of Kaniʻāina will include its integration into immersion-based language education from pre- school to the university level, Hawaiian knowledge in the natural and social sciences, and beyond. The project will also engage underrepresented groups as citizen scientists through its creation of a publicly available corpus of an endangered U.S. language.
Raina Heaton has officially accepted a job offer from The University of Oklahoma, where she will be starting in August as an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies and the Assistant Curator of Native American Languages at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.
Raina Heaton and Patricia Anderson (Tulane University) have been published in the International Journal of American Linguistics (83:2), with their article “When Animals Become Humans: Grammatical Gender in Tunica.”
Thomas Kettig and Bodo Winter have been published in Language Variation and Change (), with their article “Producing and perceiving the Canadian Vowel Shift: Evidence from a Montreal Community.”
You may click on each title for the abstract, and find the citations below.
Heaton, Raina, and Patricia Anderson, “When Animals Become Humans: Grammatical
Gender in Tunica,” International Journal of American Linguistics 83, no. 2 (April 2017):
341-363. DOI: 10.1086/689832
Kettig, Thomas, and Bodo Winter. “Producing and Perceiving the Canadian Vowel Shift:
Evidence from a Montreal Community.” Language Variation and Change, vol. 29, no. 1,
2017, pp. 79–100., doi:10.1017/S0954394517000023.
Department of Linguistics PhD candidate Victoria Chen has been awarded the 2017 Award for Excellence in Doctoral Dissertation Research from the UHM College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature, for her dissertation, “A reexamination of the Philippine-type voice system and its implications for Austronesian primary-level subgrouping.” Her dissertation investigates the comparative grammar of indigenous languages spoken in Taiwan, which provides new evidence for the classification of higher-order Austronesian languages. Congratulations, Victoria!