Global Survey of Language Revitalization

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is collaborating with the Recovering Voices initiative of the Smithsonian Institution to carrying out a survey of language revitalization initiatives worldwide.

If you are involved in language revitalization please share your experience with us.

You can fill out the survey in English using this link.

The survey is also available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese.

Questions? Contact vogel [at] si [dot] edu

Smithsonian Institutionmanoa

Post Doc Position for Dr. Elaine Lau

Dr. Elaine Lau,  2016 alumna,  has just accepted a postdoctoral position at the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre (CBRC) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She will be developing psycholinguistic research on multilingual and heritage child language acquisition, as well as infant language development.

Nala Lee’s New Tenure-Track Position at National University of Singapore

Nala Lee has just been appointed assistant professor at National University of Singapore in the Department of English Language and Literature. Nala completed her Ph.D. in 2015, writing a dissertation entitled ‘A Grammar of Baba Malay with Sociophonetic Considerations’ (supervisor: Lyle Campbell). Congratulations to Nala!

HSL in The Guardian

An article about Hawaii Sign Language has been published in The Guardian (UK). Dr. William O’Grady is quoted as saying, “this may be the last new language discovered in the US,” while the research efforts of visiting faculty members James “Woody” Woodward and Barbara Earth, as well as the graduate students assisting them, are also featured.

Click the link above for a PDF download.

Emerson Odango (PhD, 2015) Awarded 3 Million Dollar Grant from NSF for Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia

It is with great pleasure and pride that we announce that Emerson Odango has just been awarded a three million dollar grant from NSF for a project in the Freely Associated States (FAS) in geographic Micronesia: the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. A description of the project—Geo-literacy Education in Micronesia (GEM)—can be found here: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1612848&HistoricalAwards=false

(The dollar amount given in it is for the first two years of a five-year project.) Moreover, Ken Rehg (his then-supervisor) tells us that he got the award on his first try.

This project uses a community-based participation research framework to collaborate with communities in the FAS to explore geo-literacy—how one reads the skies, the lands, and the waters so as to make informed decisions that have positive impacts on the local community. GEM will create spaces for communities to investigate how Indigenous, local, and traditional knowledge systems co-exist with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The linguistic connections to GEM include documenting how language encodes the connections among these domains of knowledge and worldviews, and leveraging language—from the lexical to the ethnopoetic—with informal STEM learning.

Please stay tuned for an official press release from Pacific Resources for Education and Learning [prel.org]. Many, many congratulations to Emerson!

Documenting Hawai‘i’s Sign Languages

Linguistics student Samantha Rarrick and independent scholar Brittany Wilson have just published an article description the Sign Language Documentation Training Center (SLDTC), a joint effort of Kapi‘olani Community College students and faculty, and graduate students in the Department of Linguistics. Founded in 2013, SLDTC expands on the successful model of the Language Documentation Training Center to document signed language use in Hawai‘i, including American Sign Language and the critically endangered Hawai‘i Sign Language (ISO 639-3: hps).

  • Rarrick, Samanath & Brittany Wilson. 2016. Documenting Hawai‘i’s Sign Languages. Language Documentation & Conservation 10.337-346.  http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24697

 

Lands, Seas, and Skies Symposium September 7

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Lands+Seas+Skies SymposiumThe UH Biocultural Initiative of the Pacific is sponsoring this symposium bringing together traditional knowledge holders, guardians of sacred lands, natural scientists, academics and protected area managers. Discussions will focus on specific places and issues organized around three domains: lands, seas and skies. The goal of the symposium is to highlight possibilities for growing collaboration, mutual understanding and better protection of biodiversity, indigenous land rights and sacred natural sites and territories.

When: Wednesday, September 7, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Where: Orvis Auditorium (Music Department)

Schedule available here.

The symposium will be preceded by an airing of the film film Standing on Sacred Ground – Islands of Sanctuary, featuring an introduction and Q&A session with filmmaker Toby McLeod and Kaliko Baker of the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana and Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language.
Film screening: Tuesday, September 7, 8:00 PM, Art Auditorium (Art 132)
Reception 7-8 pm

All events are free and open to the public.

UH scholars describe local variety of English

Recent work by researchers from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics and Georgetown University demonstrates that the pronunciation of vowels is a part of what makes Hawai‘i English unique compared with other varieties of English. Hawai‘i English, the name given to the English that is spoken in the islands, is commonly spoken alongside Pidgin/Hawai‘i Creole, and is an understudied variety. This work provides a stepping stone toward our knowledge of the ways that people from Hawai‘i speak. The results of this work were recently published in the Journal of the International Phonetic Association; the full citation is given below.

Kirtley, M. Joelle*, James Grama*, Katie Drager*, and Sean Simpson+ (2016) An acoustic analysis of the vowels of Hawai‘i English. Journal of the International Phonetic Association. doi:10.1017/S0025100315000456.

* The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
+ Georgetown University