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

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

ICLDC 5 to be held March 2-5, 2017

ICLDC5Save the date! The 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation will be held March 2-5, 2017, with the theme Vital Voices: Linking Language and Wellbeing. For 2017 the conference returns to the beautiful setting of the Hawai‘i Imin Center on the campus of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. A call for proposals will be announced in Spring 2016. As in previous years the conference will also feature an optional field study tour to the Hawaiian Language program in Hilo. Unlike previous years the Hilo trip will take place immediately preceding the conference.

For more information consult the ICLDC website or Facebook page.

Imin Center

 

Katie Drager’s New Book Published

About the Book:  Speakers use a variety of different linguistic resources in the construction of their identities, and they are able to do so because their mental representations of linguistic and social information are linked.

While the exact nature of these representations remains unclear, there is growing evidence that they encode a great deal more phonetic detail than traditionally assumed and that the phonetic detail is linked with word-based information. This book investigates the ways in which a word’s phonetic realisation depends on a combination of its grammatical function and the speaker’s social group. This question is investigated within the context of the word like as it is produced and perceived by students at an all girls’ high school in New Zealand. The results are used to inform an exemplar-based model of speech production and perception in which the quality and frequency of linguistic and non-linguistic variants contribute to a speaker’s style.

The book is published by Language Science Press and is freely downloadable from: http://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/75

Drager, Katie (2015) Linguistic Variation, Identity Construction, and Cognition. Berlin: Language Science Press.

About the Author:  Katie K. Drager is Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research is located at the intersection of sociolinguistics and phonetics, combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies to examine the ways in which social factors influence the production and perception of linguistic variables, and vice versa. Her recent work has appeared in Language Variation and Change, Journal of Phonetics, and Language and Speech, and she is currently leading a project on the production and perception of linguistic variation in Hawai‘i.

Raina Heaton’s Paper Published in International Journal of American Linguistics

Raina Heaton, PhD student in linguistics, has received word that her paper, “Variation and change: The case of movement verbs in Kaqchikel” has been accepted for publication in the July 2016 issue of the International Journal of American Linguistics (IJAL), one of discipline’s premier journals. Our congratulations to Raina.

Robert Blust Appointed as Fellow of LSA

Dr. Robert A. Blust has been recognized for his contributions to the field of linguistics by being appointed a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America.  In addition to conducting fieldwork on approximately a hundred languages, Bob has written seven books, edited four others, and published 176 articles. He is one of the world’s leading historical linguists and the foremost expert on the Austronesian language family, which includes almost 20% of the world’s 7000 languages.

Bob is the second member of our department to be honored as an LSA Fellow; Lyle Campbell received the same honor earlier this year.

Kanjana Thepboriruk (PhD, 2015) Begins Tenure Track Position, Fall 2015

Kanjana Thepboriruk (PhD, 2015) will begin a tenure-track Assistant Professor position of Thai Language with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL in the Fall 2015. She looks forward to teaching all levels of Thai language and various South East Asian Studies and Thai Studies courses as well as working with the Thai Community in nearby Chicago to develop a heritage language curriculum for the community-based language schools. Kanjana is very proud to be joining over 50 years of excellence at the Center for South East Asian Studies and the fantastic Thai Language program at NIU.