Episode 25: Tibeto-Burman Field Linguistics with Shobhana Chelliah

Today’s episode is with Shobhana Chelliah, a Distinguished Research Professor of Linguistics and Associate Dean at the University of North Texas (UNT).  Shobhana is a documentary linguist interested in creating descriptions that expand typological discovery, primarily of the Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in Manipur state, India. Her publications include The Grammar of Meithei (Mouton 1997) and the Handbook of Descriptive Linguistic Fieldwork (co-authored with Willem de Reuse, Springer 2010) and the recently-published Springer Brief titled Why Language Documentation Matters. Along with John Peterson, she is the series editor for Brill’s Studies in South and Southwest Asian Languages. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Himalayan Linguistics and is on the Editorial Board of the journal Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics and is on the Advisory Board for the Journal South Asian Languages. She is also the founding director of the Computational Resource of South Asian Languages Archive.

At Nupi Kaithel, a Women’s Market in Manipur in 1990 (photo provided by Shobhana Chelliah)

Things mentioned in this episode

Correction: The two Lamkang scholars who visited UNT were Daniel Tholung and Shekarnong Sankhil.  This episode referenced Swamy Ksen, who is a Lamkang language expert Shobhana and her team works with in Manipur.

Shobhana Chelliah with Mr. Somi Roy reviewing Manipuri text collection to be published in Himalayan Linguistics with curator and director of the Imasi: The Maharaj Kumari Binodini Devi Foundation (Brooklyn, 2009- photo provided by Shobhana Chelliah)

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