Category Archives: Faculty News

101 Problems and solutions in historical linguistics: a workbook

This 512 page workbook in historical linguistics, authored by Dr. Robert Blust, will be published by Edinburgh University Press in February, 2018. It contains 101 problems and solutions covering 5 distinct problem areas (the establishment of genetic relationship among languages, sound change, phonological reconstruction, internal reconstruction, and subgrouping). Flyers are being mailed to Dr. Blust, and should arrive soon.

Dr. Al Schütz’s 1977 Publication Republished in Fiji Times Feature Series

Beginning in late 2017, the Fiji Times (“The First Newspaper Published in the World Every Day”) has been reprinting chapters of Albert J. Schütz’s Diaries and Correspondence of David Cargill, 1832–1843 (Australian National University Press, 1977). This book covers three main themes:

  1. The first deals with the Wesleyan missionaries’ conversion of the Fijians to Christianity.
  2. The second concentrates on linguistic matters: Developing Fijian’s unusual but efficient alphabet; writing the first grammar and dictionary of a Fijian language; discovering extensive language/dialect variation; and eventually choosing a lingua franca.
  3. The third describes Cargill’s extreme reaction to unimaginable “field” conditions in Tonga and Fiji, which eventually affected his professional and personal life.

Schütz is grateful to the Fiji Times editorial staff for making this book available to local readers, thus giving them easy access to an important, but mostly unknown, part of Fijian history.

Read the 9-part series:

  1. Part 1 (published 29 Oct, 2017)
  2. Part 2 (published 14 Jan, 2018)
  3. Part 3 (published 12 Nov, 2017)
  4. Part 4 (published 19 Nov, 2017)
  5. Part 5 (published 26 Nov, 2017)
  6. Part 6 (published 03 Dec, 2017)
  7. Part 7 (published 10 Dec, 2017)
  8. Part 8 (published 24 Dec, 2017)
  9. Part 9 (published 07 Jan, 2018)

Professor Emeritus Al Schütz featured in Fiji Airways’ FijiTime

Professor Emeritus Al Schütz has been featured in an article published in the Fiji Airways in-flight magazine FijiTime. The article covers his extensive fieldwork in Fiji and his recently published Fijian Reference Grammar, an update to his 1985 publication The Fijian Language.

You can view the article here.

Dr. William O’Grady and Ph.D candidate Sejung Yang help in publication of Jejueo language textbook

A sample page from the textbook. Courtesy of Sejung Yang.

Dr. William O’Grady and Ph.D candidate Sejung Yang, along with Dr. Changyong Yang from Jeju National University, have seen the first volume of their Jejueo textbook published on July 5, 2017. The textbook, written for Korean speakers, is the first of its kind for Jejueo, recognized by several international groups (including UNESCO, Endangered Language Group, and Ethnologue) as an independent language rather than a dialect of Korean.

The textbook is the first in a projected four-volume series. You can purchase the textbook from Kyobo (website in Korean).

For more information, including small previews of the book, please read the Center for Korean Studies article.

Dr. Bob Blust Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

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!

Blust_Award Blust_Surprise
Blust_OnStage

Albert Schütz publishes paper about first Hawaiian primer

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.

Albert Schütz presents at 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:

https://www.missionhouses.org/images/stories/mailewreatharchives/MWSpring_2017_lowres.pdf

Grants awarded for digital repository of spoken Hawaiian language

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.

Austronesian Comparative Dictionary: New Search function

Re the audience’s feedback at the Tuesday Seminar talk on 2/21, Steve Trussel has added a search form to the Austronesian Comparative Dictionary. The search is set to do: Introduction, Cognate Sets, Formosan, Roots, Loans, Near Comparisons, and Noise. There are search forms at the top of all pages in those sections. Any feedback is welcome. For feedback on production of the website, please email Steven Trussel. For feedback on the content, please email Robert Blust.

Please find a screenshot below:

螢幕快照 2017-03-05 上午9.24.47 - Yen-hsin Chen

Graduate Student Updates: Kavon Hooshiar

Kavon Hooshiar, along with Brenda Clark, Sejung Yang, and Kevin Bätscher, presented at the special session on language documentation in undergraduate education at the Linguistic Society of America’s annual meeting. Their talk, titled The Language Documentation Training Center’s contribution to undergraduate education, presented LDTC and their efforts to attract undergraduate students to the program.

Kavon Hooshiar presented a poster at the 2017 LSA session on data citation and attribution, titled Data management across academic disciplines.

Kavon Hooshiar presented at the 2016 Symposium on Verbs, Clauses and Constructions in Logroño, Spain; his talk was titled Clause chaining in Gimi, a language of Papua New Guinea.

Kavon Hooshiar presented a paper titled An initial look at Manirem, also known as Betaf (bfe) and Vitou (vto) at the 4th Workshop on the Languages of Papua in Manokwari, West Papua, Indonesia.

Kavon Hooshiar, Dr. Katie Drager, and Cassidy Copeland presented at the ASA on Coronal Stop Deletion in Hawaiʻi English. They presented their variationist study on reduction of t/d in consonant clusters in this variety of English. This auditory and acoustic analysis is the first look at this type of variation in Hawaiʻi English.