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Alumni Update: James Grama

Dr. James Grama is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow affiliated with the ARC Centres of Excellence at the Australian National University. He is working on the Sydney Speaks project, which is focused on language variation in Sydney, Australia. He has been with the project since January 2017.

James graduated from our department in 2015. You can read a copy of his dissertation (chaired by Dr. Katie Drager), Variation and Change in Hawai’i Creole Vowels, by clicking on the title. Utilizing similar acoustical analyses, he’s currently investigating features of Australian English and its function in regard to socioeconomic status, network affiliation, and ethnicity.

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

ICLDC5 Opening Ceremony

The Fifth Annual International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation, held by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is now under way! Here is a peek at the Opening Ceremony, featuring UH Linguistics professors, Dr. Andrea Berez-Kroeker and Dr. Gary Holton.


The conference runs from March 2-5, 2017 at the Hawai’i Imin International Conference Center. The theme this year is “Vital Voices: Linking Language & Wellbeing.” For more information, please visit the ICLDC5 site or get real-time updates on their Facebook page.

Spring 2017 Pre-Defense Dissertations

Pre-defense dissertations are submitted to our department two weeks prior to each defense. Upcoming dissertations for Spring 2017 include:

We will be adding to this list as the semester continues. You can also check the Dissertations page for updates on other pre-defense dissertations for the current semester, or final dissertations from previous semesters.

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.

Data Science Group for Language Researchers Meeting 3/7/2017

The new Data Science Group for Language Researchers will have its next meeting on Tuesday 3/7/17 from 4-5pm in the Phonetics Lab (Moore 162). The topic for this meeting is data wrangling and tidy data. During the first half of the meeting we will explore the idea of tidy data and Hadley Wickham’s tidyverse R packages that are helpful in wrangling data. During the last half of the meeting we will work on wrangling some messy data in order to have some hands-on experience with the new R packages. All are welcome to attend but please bring your laptop with R and R Studio already installed.

Brad Rentz

Graduate Student News (Spring & Summer 2016)

Claire Stabile and Victoria Chen, along with Dr. Kamil Deen and Nian Liu had their paper Cross-linguistic priming of the passive in Mandarin and English bilinguals published in the proceedings of the 13th Annual Generative Approaches to Second-Language Acquisition Conference.

Ryan Henke received two grants to fund a nine-week summer pilot research trip to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. While there, he also worked at the University of Alberta’s Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI), where he taught a computer class and served as an intern for two courses.

Victoria Chen presented her paper Actor voice ≠ Antipassive: Against the syntactic ergative analysis for Formosan languages at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in January.

Victoria Chen presented her paper Pivot ≠ Absolutive: Evidence from Formosan at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society.

Victoria Chen presented her paper Philippine-type “”voice”” affixes as A’-agreement markers: Evidence from productive causatives at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistic Association.

Victoria Chen, along with Dr. Shin Fukuda, presented their paper Re-labeling “”Ergative””: Evidence from Formosan at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistic Association.

Victoria Chen’s book review To see a world in a grain of sand: Review of Voice and v: Lessons from Acehnese was published in Oceanic Linguistics.

Victoria Chen and Dr. Shin Fukuda’s paper Raising to object out of CP as embedded left dislocations: Evidence from three Formosan languages was published in Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics.

Victoria Chen and Dr. Shin Fukuda’s paper Three ways to steal an element from a CP: evidence from Formosan was published in Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association.

Victoria Chen is participating in a one-year collaborative project called Constituency in Formosan languages with Dr. Daniel Kaufman. The project is funded by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.

Colleen O’Brien presented her paper At the Crossroads of Language Death: Displacement, Language Loss, and Identity in Colombia at the Society for Applied Anthropology meeting in Vancouver in March. She received a grant from the GSO to cover her travel expenses.

Colleen O’Brien presented her paper Creating Relevant Curricula for Endangered Languages in Colombia at the Sixth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment in July.

Colleen O’Brien was awarded a Lewis and Clark Exploration Grant from the American Philosophical Society to fund her fieldwork on Kamentsa, a language isolate of Colombia.

Bryn Hauk received the Bilinski Summer Research Award. For her project, she traveled to Zemo Alvani, Georgia, met members of the Batsbi (Tsova-Tush) community, and recorded their language.  Summer 2016_BrynHAUKRaina Heaton’s article Variation and change: The case of movement verbs in Kaqchikel appeared in the International Journal of American Linguistics.

Raina Heaton, Dr. Kamil Deen, and Dr. William O’Grady’s article An investigation of relativization in Kaqchikel appeared in the journal Lingua.

Raina Heaton and Patricia Anderson’s paper When animals become human: Grammatical gender in Tunica is currently in press at the International Journal of American Linguistics.

Raina Heaton’s article Active-stative Agreement in Tunica is currently in press at Anthropological Linguistics.

Raina Heaton and Igor Xoyon’s article Assessing language acquisition in the Kaqchikel program at Nimaläj Kaqchikel Amaq’ is currently in press at Language Documentation & Conservation.

Raina Heaton was awarded a Bilinski dissertation fellowship, and also spent a month in Guatemala over the summer finishing her dissertation fieldwork. This included, among other things, four picture elicitation experiments, the results of which will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas in 2017.S16_RainaHeatonRaina Heaton presented two talks at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas. The first was titled How many ‘antipassives’ are there? Towards a functional typology of antipassive-type constructions in Kaqchikel. The second, co-presented by Dr. Judith Maxwell (Tulane University), was titled A re-evaulation of the perfect in Kaqchikel. Raina also presented a poster at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America on her work with the Kaqchikel immersion school in Guatemala.

Raina Heaton presented at the Societas Linguistica Europeae in Naples, Italy. Her presentation was based on work from her dissertation, where she developed a typology of languages with multiple antipassive constructions.

Anna Belew received funding from the Bilinski Educational Foundation to conduct summer research in Cameroon; her study investigated language attitudes and language shift in Iyasa, an endangered Bantu language.S16_AnnaBelewJonny Kim received a Bilinski dissertation fellowship, and has successfully collected data in Korea and Hawaii, including three versions of lexical decision experiments and one eye-tracking experiment.

Jonny Kim presented his poster at the 15th Conference on Laboratory Phonology, Cornell University, and received a LabPhon15 conference travel award.S16_JonnyKimKevin Bätscher presented his mapping project Ing Pámitalátalúkì ding danuman Kapampángan (The map of Kapampangan waterways) along with his collaborators Michael R. Pangilinan (language activist, Kapampangan nation) and JC Gaillard (geographer, University of Auckland) at the 26th Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society in Manila.S16_KevinBaetscherKevin Bätscher received a Jacobs Research Fund for the project Hul’q’umi’num’ Voices: The Language of Music, for which he interviews Coast Salish elders on Vancouver Island about cultural teachings and the linguistic encoding of the wide range of musical traditions in the area. This is a collaborative project with Sewit (Thomas Jones) of the Snuneymuxw FIrst Nation.

Graduate Student News (Fall 2016/Winter 2017)

Brad Rentz, along with Dr. Victoria Anderson, presented a poster at the 5th Joint Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and Acoustical Society of Japan entitled The Pohnpeian stop contrast between laminal alveolars and apical dentals involves differences in VOT and F2 locus equation intercepts. The poster and data can be viewed here.

Raina Heaton presented a paper at the Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) Annual Meeting at LSA, entitled Towards a unified account of variability in Kaqchikel focus constructions.

Thomas Kettig presented his poster One hundred years of stability: The case of the BAD-LAD split at the LSA 2017 meeting. He also received a GSO grant of $700 for his trip to Spain last summer to present at the Sociolinguistic Symposium.

PhD students Dannii Yarbrough and Thomas Kettig at the 2017 LSA Annual Meeting.

PhD students Dannii Yarbrough and Thomas Kettig at the 2017 LSA Annual Meeting.

Alex Smith’s journal article Merap historical phonology in the context of a central Bornean linguistic area was accepted for publication in Oceanic Linguistics, and his article Sebop, Penan, and Kenyah internal linguistic subgrouping was published in the Borneo Research Bulletin. He also finished his fieldwork on 78 languages of Borneo during Fall 2016.

Victoria Chen’s paper When synthetic meets analytic: A note on structural borrowing in Kaxabu Pazeh was published in Oceanic Linguistics 55(2).

Victoria Chen’s paper Pivot ≠ Absolutive: Evidence from Formosan, was published in the Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society.

Victoria Chen, along with Dr. Shin Fukuda, published their paper “Absolutive” marks agreement, not Case: Against the syntactic ergative analysis for Austronesian-type voice system in the Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistics Society.

Victoria Chen and Dr. Robert Blust‘s paper The pitfalls of negative evidence: ‘Ergative Austronesian’, ‘Nuclear Austronesian’ and their progeny is in press at Language & Linguistics.

Victoria Chen’s paper, Philippine-type “voice” affixes as A’-agreement markers: Evidence from causatives and ditransitives is in press in the Proceedings of the 23rd Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association.

Victoria Chen and Dr. Shin Fukuda’s published a paper Re-labeling “Ergative”: Evidence from Formosan is in press in the Proceedings of the 23rd Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association.

Ryan Henke and Dannii Yarbrough took part in the workshop “Building Capacity in Linguistics and Endangered Languages at Tribal Colleges and Universities”, which was put on by the Linguistic Society of America and the Endangered Language Fund. The workshop brought together linguistics faculty and students as well as students and faculty from TCUs to discuss how we can better use linguistics to help TCU programs with their language teaching and learning goals.

Photo provided courtesy of the LSA.

Photo provided courtesy of the LSA.

Meagan Dailey and Ryan Henke presented their poster Data citation, attribution, and employability at the 2017 LSA meeting. Their poster investigated how data citation and attribution relate to the job market and training of up-and-coming linguists. It can be viewed here.

Ryan Henke, Meagan Dailey, and Kavon Hooshiar presented their poster Questions, curiosities, and concerns: Talking points for data citation and attribution” at the 2017 LSA meeting. The poster is part of the larger effort to change the way linguists, university departments, and administrations approach data citation and attribution. It can be viewed here.

John Elliott presented a poster at the Acoustical Society of America annual meeting entitled For bilinguals, Enxet vowel spaces smaller than Spanish, which was a phonetic vowel analysis of Enxet, a Paraguayan language with a typologically rare small vowel system.

John Elliott was awarded a grant from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) for “The Enxet Documentation Project”, a video documentation project working with speakers of Enxet Sur, a threatened Enlhet-Enenlhet language of Paraguay.  The project focused on bushwalk videos as a means of eliciting stories about and descriptions of the uses of medicinal and food plants in the Enxet indigenous communities.

John Elliott and Russell Barlow attended a training session for the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) as part of their being awarded ELDP grants for documentation projects. The training focused on details of video and audio recording and the ever evolving best-practices in archiving, and was attended by researchers and endangered language community members working on documentation projects in almost every region of the globe.

Andrew Pick presented a poster titled Word boundaries attenuate the effects of emphasis in Lebanese Arabic at the Acoustical Society of America annual meeting.