Welcome to a new season of Field Notes! This month, Claire Bowern is on the pod for Season Four’s inaugural episode. Claire Bowern is a historical linguist whose research is centered around language change and language documentation in Indigenous Australia. She received her BA in LInguistics and Classics from the Australian National University, and her PhD in linguistics from Harvard University. She works with speakers of endangered languages, with archival sound and print materials, and uses computational and phylogenetic methods. She is currently the editor of the journal Diachronica. She is a professor in Linguistics at Yale University, and is also the author of Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide (2008).
Today’s episode is the final episode of Season Three! This season focused exclusively on linguists working on their own native and/or heritage languages. Thank you to all listeners and patrons for making this third season so successful. In this episode, Gladys Camacho Rios discusses her work on her native language, South Bolivian Quechua. Gladys works with elderly monolingual Quechua speakers in rural Bolivia. She is a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. She previously earned two MA degrees; one in Latin American Studies from New York University in 2016 and a MA in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019.
Today’s episode is with Maaz Shaikh, a Junior Research Fellow pursuing his Ph.D. at the Centre for Linguistics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. Maaz is an emerging linguist having research interests primarily in language documentation and description, along with language revitalization, phonology, morpho-syntax, and historical linguistics. Last year, Maaz successfully defended his M.Phil. thesis at JNU on his heritage language Azamgarhi—a unique Indo-Aryan language, of which he is a semi-speaker. In this episode we will hear from Maaz on his experiences and opinions of “documenting” a language as an “insider” to the community. Besides his areal interests of his native Indo-Aryan region, he is also now documenting Zangskari, an endangered language of Ladakh (India).
This month’s episode is with Ana D. Alonso Ortiz, a Zapotec researcher and translator from Oaxaca, Mexico. Ana is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of the Amerindian Studies and Bilingual Education master’s program at the University of Queretaro. Her research focuses on the language description and language revitalization of Yalalag Zapotec, specifically promoting the language by working with child language acquisition.
She is currently developing a language course of Zapotec as a Second Language. Ana has worked on the production of educational materials in Zapotec in coordination with the Dill Yel Nbán Collective, a group of Zapotec scholars who seek to promote the Zapotec language. Ana received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2021.
This month’s episode is with Michael Karani from the University of Dar es Salaam. Michael teaches linguistics and communication studies at Dar es Salaam. He holds a BA and an MA in Linguistics from the University of Dar es Salaam and a PhD in African Languages from Stellenbosch University. Michael conducted fieldwork for his native language, Arusa, which is a Maasai dialect spoken in Arusha, northern Tanzania, where he studied the Arusa verb system during his MA studies. For his PhD research he investigated verb morphology and argument structure in the Parakuyo dialect, another Maasai dialect spoken in northern and coastal areas in Tanzania.
In this episode, we discuss Micheal’s current research with Dr Alexander Andrason (Stellenbosch University) on Arusa ‘expressive grammar’, particularly ideophones, interjections and gestures.
This month’s episode is with Guillem Belmar from UC Santa Barbara. Guillem focuses his research on language revitalization strategies as well as documentation of endangered or minoritized languages. He has worked on language promotion for many European languages and runs the #europeminoritylanguages project on social media. He is currently involved with the project Maintaining Indigenous Languages within Immigrant Oaxacan Communities in the United States.
In this episode we discuss Guillem’s work with his native language, Catalan, as well as Basque and Frisian. Guillem shares with us his experience working with minority languages in Europe, including his work on New Speaker motivation and language policy and planning.
Next month Field Notes will be taking a short break, if you’d like to hear more from the pod, check out the Field Notes Patreon.
Pedro is a native speaker of Q’anjob’al, a Mayan language of Guatemala. His research focuses on the documentation and description of Mayan languages, specifically language acquisition, Mayan languages in contact and dialectal variation.
Pedro received his PhD in linguistics at the University of Kansas in 2010 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Pedro has taught at universities in Guatemala, Mexico and the United States.
Additionally, Pedro has worked on the production of educational materials in Mayan languages in coordination with different institutions in Guatemala, such as the Ministry of Education and the Academy of Maya Languages of Guatemala (ALMG in Spanish). In 2019, Pedro received an award as a distinguished professor at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Campus Altiplano.
This month’s episode is with Jaime Pérez González is a Tseltal (Maya) researcher, writer, and translator from Tenango, Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. He is a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his master’s in American-Indian Linguistics at the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS, Mexico). His MA thesis Predicados expresivos e ideófonos en tseltal won the 2013 Wigberto Jiménez Moreno Prize, awarded by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) for the best master’s thesis in linguistics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Language and Literatures at the Michoacan University of San Nicolas de Hidalgo (UMICH, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico).
Since 2008, he has worked on different Tseltal language documentation projects as a collaborator and as a research assistant, and as a researcher. Among the topics he has worked on during these projects are Dialectology and Lexicography (building dictionaries). He started to work on Mocho’ (a cousin Mayan language) in 2015, and he is currently the Principal Investigator of the project “Documentation of Mocho’ (Mayan): Language Preservation through Community Awareness and Engagement” sponsored by the Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP). His research goes from Descriptive Linguistics, Language Documentation and Language revitalization. He has written about fieldwork methodologies, and he is currently working on a Descriptive Grammar of Mocho’.
Today’s episode is with Michinori Shimoji, an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Kyushu University in Japan. He has a PhD from the Australian National University (ANU). He has published extensively on fieldwork-based descriptions of Ryukyuan languages, particularly Irabu Miyako, which is his father’s native language. His research focuses on empirical and inductive generalizations of linguistic systems and structures, with a particular emphasis on typological generalizations. With Patrick Heinrich and Shinsho Miyara, he is the editor of the Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages History, Structure, and Use (2015). He is also the editor of An Introduction to Ryukyuan Languages (2011), along with Thomas Pellard.