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Ph.D. Graduate Samantha Rarrick receives Postdoc Fellowship for Sinasina SL in PNG

Dr. Samantha Rarrick has received a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences. Through this two-year fellowship, Sam will work to document and describe Sinasina Sign Language, a previously unreported sign language which she encountered during her dissertation fieldwork. This sign language is one of the first indigenous sign languages to be reported in Papua New Guinea and its documentation and description has potential to drastically contribute to the typology of sign languages in this region.

Find more about Sam’s project here.

Congratulations, Dr. Rarrick!

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

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.

Carl Polley accepts Tenure Track position

Carl Polley, 2012 PhD graduate, has accepted a tenure track position at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) to teach Chinese language and culture. Carl has been a lecturer at KCC since 2009 teaching various Chinese language, culture, and literature classes. You can also follow this link to read his dissertation, “Metaphors for Happiness in English and Mandarin Chinese.”

Congratulations, Carl!

Linguistics Graduation Ceremony

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.

Callender Closson Flavelle_Compressed
Gao_Compressed Heaton Heston
Okura Rarrick Ross
Sato_Compressed Takahashi TheKandas_Compressed
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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!

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MA Student Daniel Lin earns Huayu Enrichment Scholarship

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!

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