Tuesday Seminar: A.L. Blake, Peter Schuelke

Speaker: A.L. Blake, Peter Schuelke
Date: 9/19 (Tues.), 12:00-1:15PM
Title: Botanical knowledge of the Abui: a field report; Roviana fieldwork in the Solomon Islands
Abstract 1: When language- and culture- shift is underway, ecological domains of knowledge are in particular danger of being lost (Si 2011). This talk reports on progress in documenting the botanical knowledge of the Abui people of Alor Island, Eastern Indonesia, encoded in the languages of Abui (a threatened non-Austronesian language of the Timor-Alor-Pantar language family), and Alor Malay (an underdescribed Malay-based creole). Topics discussed include interdisciplinary methods of documentation and analysis, nomenclature and ethnotaxonomies, and creation of a community resource.
Abstract 2: Fieldwork in the Solomon Islands is important for both documentary and theoretical reasons. This talk will discuss Solomon Islands fieldwork and then briefly introduce some of its scientific findings. The Solomon Islands is a country with great linguistic diversity, but unfortunately there is very little active documentation of these languages. Documentation of Roviana is a first step. Some of the typological highlights of Roviana include a marked-absolutive case-marking system, exclusive object agreement, symmetrical voice alternations without verbal voice morphology, and novel reflexive binding patterns. This fieldwork likely represents the first formal diagnostics for a Western Solomon language. Perhaps further fieldwork in the Solomon Islands would reveal that there are other languages with patterns similar to those of Roviana.

Check our website for more information about the speaker and for this semester’s schedule. Contacts: Coordinator, Amy Schafer (aschafer@nullhawaii.edu) & Graduate Assistant, Gyu-Ho Shin (ghshin@nullhawaii.edu).