Urituyacu River, Loreto, Peru

Fieldwork Forum (FForum)

Department of Linguistics
University of California, Berkeley

When?Tuesdays 12:30pm - 2pm
Where?1229 Dwinelle Hall
What?We are a working group dedicated to the critical examination of methodologies in language documentation, description and revitalization, as well as to the linguistic and ethnohistorical analysis that falls out from that work. Our aim is to learn from and ultimately improve upon methods for carrying out more rigorous, insightful and ethical linguistic and cultural fieldwork, and to help researchers implement those methods.
How?Fieldwork Forum is made possible through a Working Group Grant provided by the Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley.
Who?FForum is organized by Hannah Sande and Amalia Skilton. We welcome all those interested in linguistic fieldwork, with all levels of experience, including those in other departments.

Spring 2016

Feb 16No regular meeting: Wednesday evening GAIL meeting

Feb 23Group discussion: Topic TBA

Mar 1Nick Kalivoda (UCSC)

Mar 8

Mar 15Justin Spence (UC Davis)

Mar 22No meeting due to Spring Break

Mar 29Kenneth Baclawski Jr (UC Berkeley)

Apr 5Amy Rose Deal (UC Berkeley)

Apr 12Hannah Sande, Peter Jenks, Juwon Kim, and Maytas Monsereenusorn (UC Berkeley)

Apr 19

Apr 26Discussion: Summer fieldwork plans and fears

May 3Claire Bowern (Yale)

Jan 26Jack Merrill and Nico Baier (UC Berkeley)
Contraction in Lalane Noon Verbal Paradigms
In the Lalane dialect of Noon (Cangin: Senegal), the consonants /h, s, y, ʔ/ are subject to intervocalic deletion, which leads to a system of inflectional (and derivational) morphology in which V-initial suffixes may coalesce with a preceding stem, yielding a ‘contracted’ form. This presentation first provides a description of this previously undocumented phenomenon based on our own fieldwork. Notably, this phenomenon is not encountered in any dialect of Noon described in the existing literature (Soukka 2000, Lopis 1981). We then explore the various phonological, morphological, and frequency-based factors which influence the application of intervocalic deletion in Lalane Noon, and evaluate how this data fits with existing theories of paradigm-building, contrasting 'syntagmatic' approaches such as that of Albright (2002) with 'paradigmatic' approaches like that of Ackerman and Malouf (2013). On the fieldwork front, we will discuss our methodologies in collecting these data, and how data collected in this manner from a single speaker should be interpreted and presented in the context of the language as a whole.

Feb 2Jeanette King (University of Canterbury)
Corpus analysis to support teachers in Maori immersion classrooms
Fieldwork usually involves the researcher being physically present to collect language data. The Tuhinga Māhorahora and Comparative Language Input Project (CLIP) are both focussed on Maori language immersion classrooms in Christchurch, New Zealand where we have been collecting children’s writing in Māori and, more recently, teacher speech. Māori immersion classrooms are one of the most important initiatives in the revitalization of the indigenous language of New Zealand. In this talk I will describe the backgrounds to these projects, how the data is collected without the university research team even visiting the school, ELAN data transcription protocols, and the use of the LaBB-CAT corpus analysis tool. An important part of these projects is to give feedback to Māori immersion teachers, most of whom are second language speakers, about ways to strengthen and vary their language output.

Feb 9Andrew Garrett (UC Berkeley)
Preparing an accessible edition of Yurok texts
With the help of (many) students (over the years), I am preparing a small edition of Yurok texts spanning over a century and in various genres. The intended audiences include teachers, advanced learners, and academic and non-academic researchers and thus there are many constraints on format and content. I'll talk about some of the problems I'm working through, and I'll look forward to suggestions and ideas for improvement.