MIT Press has just published The Open Handbook of Linguistic Data Management, which was edited by Andrea Berez-Kroeker (Professor), Bradley McDonnell (Associate Professor), Eve Koller (PhD 2017) and Lauren B. Collister (U Pittsburgh). The Handbook, which is fully free and Open Access and can be found here, features 56 chapters including several from current and former UH faculty and alumni: Gary Holton, James Grama, Nala Lee, Matthew Lou-Magnusson, Luca Onnis, Bodo Winter, and Rory Turnbull. The volume offers a guide to linguistic data management, engaging with current trends toward the transformation of linguistics into a more data-driven and reproducible scientific endeavor. It offers both principles and methods, presenting the conceptual foundations of linguistic data management and a series of case studies, each of which demonstrates a concrete application of abstract principles in current practice. An online companion course can be found here.
The University of Hawaii Press has just published Jejueo: The Language of Korea’s Jeju Island, co-authored by Changyong Yang (adjunct professor), Sejung Yang (PhD graduate, 2018) and William O’Grady (professor of linguistics). This long-awaited book tells the story of a language that has gone unrecognized for too long and is now in grave peril. Once the island’s primary variety of speech, Jejueo currently has only a few thousand fluent speakers and has been classified by UNESCO as critically endangered.
The book, which is the first comprehensive treatment of Jejueo in English, offers both an introduction to the language and an in-depth survey of its grammar, supplemented with hundreds of examples. The authors present a provocative new picture of linguistic diversity in East Asia, undermining the centuries-old belief that Korea is home to a single language and making the case for a new language policy in that nation.
Faculty members Bradley McDonnell, Andrea Berez-Kroeker, and Gary Holton publish an edited Special Publication for the journal Language Documentation & Conservation entitled, Reflections on Language Documentation 20 Years after Himmelmann 1998.
This volume reflects on key issues in the field of language documentation on the 20 year anniversary of Nikolaus Himmelmann’s seminal article “Documentary and descriptive linguistics” in the journal Linguistics. Himmelmann’s central argument that language documentation should “be conceived of as a fairly independent field of linguistic inquiry and practice” has prompted major theoretical and practical shifts, helping to establish documentary linguistics as a genuine subfield of linguistics. Now 20 years later we are able ask: how has this new field evolved?
In order to address this question, we invited 38 experts from around the world to reflect on either particular issues within the realm of language documentation or particular regions where language documentation projects are being carried out. The issues discussed in this volume represent a broad and diverse range of topics from multiple perspectives and for multiple purposes. Some topics have been hotly debated over the past two decades, while others have emerged more recently. Many contributors also speculate on what comes next, looking at the future of documentary linguistics from a variety of perspectives. Hence, the 31 vignettes provide not only reflections on where we have been but also a glimpse of where the field might be headed.
Dr. Katie Drager has published a new book with Bloomsbury entitled Experimental Research Methods in Sociolinguistics.
The book’s back cover blurb is as follows:
An accessible, user-friendly guide to the variety of different experimental methods used in sociolinguistics, Experimental Research Methods in Sociolinguistics walks students through the “how-to” of experimental methods used to investigate variation in both speech production and perception. Focusing squarely on practice and application, it takes the reader from defining a research question, to choosing an appropriate framework, to completing a research project. Featuring a companion website with information on experiment-friendly software, sample experiments and suggestions for work to undertake, the book also covers:
-How to measure production and perception
-How to construct and use corpora
And the reviews:
“This promises to be a fun book about an important topic. It is most likely to be adopted as a textbook in many sociolinguistic classes, and I’m sure that sociolinguistic students throughout the world will benefit from some clear explanations about how to conduct experimental research.” – Tommaso Milani, Associate Professor of Linguistics and Head of Department, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
“The strengths include the theoretical breadth of the text, and the author’s technical expertise; in addition, the author’s undeniable ability to keep students eyes open and their minds on target, despite technical details which will follow in subsequent chapters. If one had any fears that she couldn’t carry off this textbook project, the introduction makes clear that her distinctive voice and good humor will keep readers going even in the heavy chapters … If the author manages to get this book out quickly, there will be nothing like it on the market, and no other researcher who could even come close to the breadth of coverage which her chapter headings promise.” – Malcah Yaeger-Dror, University of Arizona, USA
“It’s a potentially very useful work that collects together a number of approaches rarely considered in one place. I like the fact that it brings psycholinguistic and phonetic methods into sociolinguistics, while also ensuring that psycholinguists and phoneticians would be exposed to the kinds of questions and data central to sociolinguists.” – Paul Foukes, University of York, UK
“I would tell colleagues that this book sounds like an excellent guidebook for experimental designs. Individual chapters would be excellent readings for students, especially the suggestions of possible experiments. Chapters or the whole book would be good both as class readings and as recommended readings for Ph.D. or M.A. students who are preparing for a dissertation or thesis.” – Erik R. Thomas, North Carolina State University, USA
A new book entitled Word Hunters: Field Linguists on Fieldwork is now available for all valid UH affiliates (student, staff, and faculty). Our very own Dr. Robert Blust is featured in the book’s third chapter, titled “Historical linguistics in the raw.”
Thank you to Ph.D candidate Anna Belew for the notice! She had the following to say about the publication:
If you’re new to fieldwork and wondering what it’s really like, or if you love reading anecdotes from your fellow field linguists, good news! Hamilton just bought the ebook of a new volume called Word hunters: Field linguists on fieldwork. It’s got chapters from some of the biggest, baddest field linguists out there, including Bob. Check it out: 1) because it’s interesting, and 2) so that Hamilton will see that we actually use the books that we request they buy, and will keep buying the books we request!
(Photo courtesy of R. Blust & John Benjamins Publishing Company)
UHM Linguistics affiliates published together
Language Isolates, edited by Dr. Lyle Campbell, has been released in the Routledge Language Family series (2018). The work surveys the world’s language isolates, which form approximately one-third of the world’s “language families”. Contributions from people connected with University of Hawai’i linguistics (as current or former faculty and students) include a survey of the language isolates of Mesoamerica and Northern Mexico by Raina Heaton, a chapter on the endangerment of language isolates by Eve Okura Koller, a description of Burushaski by Alexander D. Smith, a sketch grammar of Ainu by Thomas Dougherty, and an introduction and a chapter on language isolates and their history by Lyle Campbell.
A.L. Blake awarded Luce Graduate Research Fellowship
A.L. Blake was awarded the Luce Graduate Research Fellowship for the project, “Documenting the botanical language of the Abui people of Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia.” Blake will be doing interdisciplinary research this summer in order to document ecological knowledge encoded in the Abui language. Emphasizing Abui nomenclature, classification, characteristics, and use of food- and medicinal- plants, the project generates Abui audio- and video- recordings, with accompanying transcriptions and translations, as well as high-quality photographic images of plants.
Ryan E. Henke presents at SSILA
PhD student Ryan E. Henke presented a paper, “The development of possession in the L1 acquisition of Northern East Cree”, at the 2018 Winter Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) in Salt Lake City, UT. In support of this presentation, Henke was awarded a travel grant from SSILA.
Ryan E. Henke receives GSO Award
Congratulations to PhD student Ryan E. Henke for receiving a Graduate Student Organization grant award. This grant supported his summer research project assisting with community efforts to document Nakota, a Siouan language spoken in Alberta, Canada.
UH linguists publish new book about department’s Catalogue of Endangered Languages project
Cataloguing the World’s Endangered Languages, just published, describes the creation and findings of the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat, available at www.endangeredlanguages.com). The chapter authors and the editors are current or former linguists in the UHM Department of Linguistics, and members of the ELCat team. The book is edited by Lyle Campbell and Anna Belew, with chapters written by Russell Barlow, Anna Belew, Lyle Campbell, Yen-ling Chen, Bryn Hauk, Raina Heaton, Nala Lee, Sean Simpson, and John Van Way.
Cataloguing the World’s Endangered Languages outlines the research on which ELCat is based, discusses challenges and approaches to large-scale language cataloguing, presents new findings about the state of the world’s endangered languages, and outlines ELCat’s potential applications for students, funding bodies, researchers, and language communities.
The book is published by Routledge, and can be seen at: https://www.routledge.com/Cataloguing-the-Worlds-Endangered-Languages/Campbell-Belew/p/book/9781138922082
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.
2014 PhD alumna Dr. Nala Huiying Lee has been featured in the Macau News for her study on Patua, a Portuguese-Asian Creole. The language has fewer than 50 speakers, making it “severely endangered” based on the absolute amount of speakers.
The study is also published in Language Documentation & Conservation Vol. 12 (2018), pp. 53-79.
To read the full original article on the Macau News website, please click here.
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:
- The first deals with the Wesleyan missionaries’ conversion of the Fijians to Christianity.
- 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.
- 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:
PhD candidate Bradley Rentz has recently published an article in the journal Linguistics Vanguard titled “Topological Relations in Pohnpeian“.
As taken from Kudos:
This article examines how prepositions and prepositional nouns in Pohnpeian express topological space, how two entities are related in 2D space. This article used a new statistical method, evolutionary classification trees to model how the meaning of the prepositions and prepositional nouns and how they related to each other.
This article is the first article to examine topological relations in detail for the Pohnpeian language, as well as the first for any Micronesian language. It also uses an innovative statistical method to do so.