Austronesian Circle: Brad Rentz (12/1)

Speaker: Brad Rentz
Date and Time: 12/1 (Fri.), 3-4PM
Location: SLS Conference Room
Title: Language attitudes on Pohnpei: Results from a survey analysis

Abstract: In this presentation, I present the results from a language attitudes survey of 1/3% of the adult population on Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. The results include domain-based language choices and attitudes toward a variety of topics including multilingualism, education, and Pohnpeian identities. The presentation also includes results fro ma novel combination of statistical methods including Bayesian hierarchical poisson modeling, multidimensional scaling with partitioning around medoids clustering, and correspondence analysis with hierarchical clustering, as well as a brief discussion of the benefits of these analyses. The results overall show a high level of importance for Pohnpeian, English, and other local languages. However, rather than languages competing, the results show a high value of multilingualism and a complementary relationship among the languages. The results also show ideological differences on Pohnpei both within demographic groups and across them.

Tuesday Seminar: Ono, Rentz (10/24)

Speakers: Christianne Ono, Bradley Rentz
Date & Time: 10/24 (Tues.), 12:00-1:15PM
Place: AGSCI 220

Title 1: Preliminary Fieldwork in the Ikema-jima and Nishihara Ikema Miyakoan Communities

Abstract: Ikema is a variety of Miyako, which in turn is a “Definitely Endangered” Southern Ryukyuan language (UNESCO, 2010). It is spoken in three communities on three separate islands: the original Ikema-jima community on Ikema Island, the Nishihara community on Miyako Island, and the Sarahama community on Irabu Island. This talk presents the researcher’s experiences conducting fieldwork the Ikema-jima and Nishihara communities, reflecting particularly on the observed differences in relative linguistic vitality and community members’ attitudes towards the local Ikema variety. Additionally, some of the programs and events related to language and culture preservation and revitalization will be introduced. To conclude, this talk will consider areas for future research and possibilities for increased community involvement based on the results from this preliminary fieldwork.

Title 2: Pohnpei sohte ehu: Quantitative methods for finding emergent heteroglossic patterns in language attitudes

Abstract: In this presentation, I present novel quantitative methods for analyzing language attitudes using data from 1.3% of the adult population on Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. Previous methods for language attitudes analyses typically utilized pre-defined essentialized categories that are heavily influenced by non-localized contexts. To counter this method, I propose new quantitative analyses that allow groups and categories to emerge from the data. I present results both from analyses that utilize pre-defined categories and those that do not to demonstrate the benefits of the new analyses. The results show how the new analyses allow for voices in the data to be see that would otherwise have been ignored.