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PhD student Katherine Strong selected as an Early Career Plenary Speaker at 12th Annual Austronesian and Papuan Languages and Linguistics (APLL) Conference

Congratulations to Katherine Strong (PhD Student) as her talk ‘Sociophonetic variation in the South Fly: Evidence from Ende’ (co-authored by Kate Lindsey) was selected for one of two Early Career Plenary Speakers at the 12th annual Austronesian and Papuan Languages and Linguistics (APLL) conference to be held in Oslo, June 2020.

Jejueo: The Language of Korea’s Jeju Island

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.


On Tuesday, August 13, the Supreme Court of Hawai’i ruled that the state constitution guarantees access to Hawaiian immersion education in order to “recognize and preserve the Hawaiian culture … and to revive the Hawaiian language, which is essential to the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian culture.” The case was argued by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (Sharla Manley, lead attorney) on behalf of a family that was denied access to a Hawaiian Immersion program on the island of Lanai; William O’Grady served as an expert witness. The majority opinion of the Court can be found here.


Another alumni update! Jonny Kim (PhD 2018) has accepted a tenure track position as Assistant Professor in phonetics and phonology at the Department of English Language and Literature at Pusan (Busan) National University, Busan, South Korea.  Jonny will begin his position in early September 2019.

Jonny’s dissertation for his PhD studies at UH Manoa is now available online: Socially-conditioned links between words and phonetic realizations.

Congrats, Jonny!

Bradley McDonnell, Andrea Berez-Kroeker, and Gary Holton Publish Edited Volume

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.

Samantha Rarrick accepts Tenure Track position

Another alumni update! Samantha Rarrick (PhD 2017) has accepted a tenure track position as Assistant Professor at Griffith University in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.  Sam will begin her position in late June 2019.
Sam’s dissertation for her PhD studies at UH Manoa is now available online: A Tonal Grammar of Kere (Papuan) in Typological Perspective.
Congrats, Sam!