Field Notes
Ep 24: Pius Akumbu on Insider Research in Babanki

Ep 24: Pius Akumbu on Insider Research in Babanki

July 10, 2020

This episode marks the Season Two finale with Professor Pius Akumbu, an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bamenda, Cameroon, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on the documentation and description of Grassfields Bantu languages of Cameroon, including his mother tongue, Babanki. Additionally, Pius researches multilingualism in Cameroon as well as language planning and policy in Africa. He is an ELDP grant recipient and a depositor at the Endangered Languages Archive. He is also a member of the KPAAM-CAM project

 

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Ep 23: Descriptive Linguistic Fieldwork with Willem de Reuse

Ep 23: Descriptive Linguistic Fieldwork with Willem de Reuse

July 9, 2020

This week's episode is with Willem de Reuse. Willem specializes in the description of Native American languages, particularly Siouan and Athabaskan languages. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the Siberian Yupik language. He has published on morphological theory, language contact, and historical phonology and philology. He has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Iowa, Ball State University, and the University of Arizona. His current position is at The Language Conservancy, and he also is affiliated with The University of North Texas. He is the Review Editor of the International Journal of American Linguistics, and he has written the Handbook Of Descriptive Linguistic Fieldwork (2011) with Shobhana Chelliah. He is currently conducting fieldwork in Arizona working with speakers of Apache. 

 

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Ep 22: N. Haʻalilio Solomon on Activism & Language Ideologies in ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi

Ep 22: N. Haʻalilio Solomon on Activism & Language Ideologies in ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi

June 26, 2020

Today's episode is with N. Haʻalilio Solomon, who is an Instructor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa at Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language, where he is also a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Linguistics. Haʻalilio is also a translator for ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi with Awaiaulu and Hoʻopulapula, and his studies involve language documentation and revitalization, as well as linguistic ideologies and attitudes surrounding ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. He is the author of the forthcoming book chapter Rescuing Maunalua: Shifting Nomenclatures and the Reconfiguration of Space in Hawaii Kai.

 

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Ep 21: Community-Based Documentation with Sheena Shah

Ep 21: Community-Based Documentation with Sheena Shah

June 19, 2020

This week's episode is with Sheena Shah, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Hamburg in Germany. She is currently working on a 2-year project documenting siPhuthi.  Sheena has conducted linguistic fieldwork on a number of languages in Southern Africa, including several indigenous click languages. Sheena’s mother tongue is Gujarati and for her Ph.D., she worked with Gujarati diaspora communities in London, Johannesburg, and Singapore.

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Ep 20: Andrew Harvey & Richard Griscom on Teamwork in the Field

Ep 20: Andrew Harvey & Richard Griscom on Teamwork in the Field

June 4, 2020

Today's episode is with Andrew Harvey and Richard Griscom from Leiden University. Andrew and Richard have just returned from their most recent field trip to Tanzania and in this episode, they discuss their current projects (documenting Gorwaa, Hadza, and Ihanzu) and teamwork in the field.

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Ep 19: Dreamtime Narratives & Language Sustainability with Dorothea Hoffmann

Ep 19: Dreamtime Narratives & Language Sustainability with Dorothea Hoffmann

May 29, 2020

Today’s episode is with Dorothea Hoffmann, a documentary linguist who has worked in remote parts of Northern Australia with speakers of MalakMalak, Jaminjung, and Kriol. In North America, she has been involved in language revitalization projects for the Acoma, Ute, Stoney Nakoda, Ho-Chunk and Cowlitz tribes, and First Nations. She is affiliated with the University of Oregon as an Honorary Research Associate and also works as a Linguistic Project Manager for The Language Conservancy. In addition to her linguistic research, Dorothea also is one half of the team that runs a venture called 180forward – an eco-tourism and education business based in New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest.

In this episode, we discuss how as researchers we should be striving not only to help sustain the languages we work with but to go further and aim for regeneration and to help empower and create new speakers. Doro also explains a bit about Dreamtime narratives in MalakMalak, which are traditional creation stories which, among other things, connect speakers to not only their language but also the land.

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Ep 18: Documenting Linguistic Avoidance in Datooga with Alice Mitchell

Ep 18: Documenting Linguistic Avoidance in Datooga with Alice Mitchell

May 23, 2020

This week's episode is with Alice Mitchell, a Junior Professor at the Institute for African Studies at the University of Cologne in Germany. Alice holds a BA in German and Linguistics from the University of Oxford, an MA in Language Documentation and Description from SOAS, and a PhD in Linguistics from the University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on the Datooga language of Tanzania, where she has been conducting fieldwork since 2012. 

In this episode, Alice talks us through her work in Tanzania, and her experiences documenting name avoidance and studying children's speech in Datooga. 

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Ep 17: Mary Walworth on Fieldwork with a Baby

Ep 17: Mary Walworth on Fieldwork with a Baby

May 15, 2020

Today's episode is with Mary Walworth from the Max Planck Institute. Mary is co-leader of the Comparative Oceanic Languages (CoOL) Project at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she focused primarily on documenting the understudied languages of French Polynesia. She specializes in the historical relationships of Oceanic languages, examining both direct relatedness and indirect, contact-based linguistic development. She has worked with many communities throughout French Polynesia and Vanuatu.

In this episode, Mary shares how her experiences parenting in the field influenced her research and her relationship with the community she collaborates with.

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Ep 16: Remote Fieldwork with Richard T. Griscom

Ep 16: Remote Fieldwork with Richard T. Griscom

May 8, 2020

This week's episode is with Richard T. Griscom, a post-doctoral researcher at Leiden University.  Richard's research focuses on language documentation, fieldwork methodology, and functional-typological linguistic description and theory, with a special emphasis on the languages of East Africa. Over the past five years, he has been working with the Asimjeeg Datooga and the Hadzabe, both endangered minority language communities of northern Tanzania.

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Ep 15: Rethinking the ‘field’ in Fieldwork with Hannah Gibson

Ep 15: Rethinking the ‘field’ in Fieldwork with Hannah Gibson

May 1, 2020

Today's episode is with Hannah Gibson, fellow SOASian and Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Essex. Hannah's research is primarily concerned with linguistic variation, particularly why and how languages change. Much of her work explores the syntax and semantics of the Bantu languages, with a focus on languages spoken in Eastern Africa. She has conducted data collection in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and the UK. 

In this episode, Hannah and I discuss her research, what her daily research routine looks like, and why we should think critically about what we mean when we use the term “fieldwork”. 

 

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