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.
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.
Andrew Harvey is a research fellow at Leiden University. He completed a Bachelor’s Degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, a Master’s Degree at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and a PhD at SOAS, University of London. He has conducted work with Gorwaa, Hadza, and Ihanzu speaker communities and has received funding for projects through the Endangered Languages Documentation Program, as well as the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research. The title of his currently funded research is, “Gorwaa, Hadza, and Ihanzu: Grammatical Inquiries in the Tanzanian Rift Valley Area.” His interests include the languages of the Tanzanian Rift, their documentation and description, their formal morphosyntax and the histories and cultures of their speaker communities.
Richard T. Griscom is a post-doctoral researcher at Leiden University. He obtained his bachelor’s and PhD degrees from the University of Oregon. 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. He is a recipient of two grants from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme and is a depositor at the Endangered Languages Archive.
Today’s episode is with Dr. 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.
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 bachelor’s degree 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. Prior to starting her current position in Cologne, Alice spent one year as a Humboldt Fellow in the African Studies department at the University of Hamburg, and three years as a postdoc in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Bristol. 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 research in Tanzania, and her experiences documenting name avoidance and studying children’s speech in Datooga.
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, most recently on the islands of Emae and Epi in Central Vanuatu.
In this episode, Mary shares her experience of parenting in the field, and how having her family with her during fieldwork affected her research and her relationship with the community she collaborates with.
This week’s episode is with Richard T. Griscom, a post-doctoral researcher at Leiden University. Richard obtained his bachelor’s and PhD degrees from the University of Oregon. 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. He is a recipient of two grants from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme and is a depositor at the Endangered Languages Archive.
This episode is with Hannah Gibson, who is a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Essex. She holds an MA and a PhD in Linguistics from SOAS University of London, and BA in Swahili and Law from the same institution. Her 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”.
Today’s episode is Guillem Belmar, a Linguistics PhD student at UC Santa Barbara. In this episode, we discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on fieldwork. This discussion was inspired by UCSB grad students who have started a group to share and debate online fieldwork, and this post on social media from Guillem, which urged fieldworkers to pause field trip plans in light of the pandemic.
Guillem has many years of experience in 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 (MICOP/UCSB).
Welcome to Season Two! This is the first episode of Season Two on Field Notes. Although we are living in strange times and fieldwork is not currently possible due to the COVID-19, Field Notes will continue publishing weekly episodes this season to share information and experiences from the field which will hopefully benefit our listeners in the future (when fieldwork is possible again). Until then, hang in there, we are all in this together.
This episode’s guest is Jeff Good. Jeff is a professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Buffalo in New York. Jeff is a typologist and his research focuses on lesser-documented Batoid languages in the lower Fungom region of Northwest Cameroon. In this episode, Jeff shares how he started working in the lower Fungom region and how he now works with scholars in Cameroon to facilitate language documentation and research from his base in Buffalo.
Thisweek’s episode is with Miroslav Valeš, who has a Ph.D. in Spanish Philology from Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic and is currently Head of the Department of Romance Languages at the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic. In this interview, Miroslav discusses his long and varied fieldwork career, including his experiences working with the Lakhota (USA), Shuar (Ecuador) and A Fala (Spain) communities.
There is some sensitive material discussed in this interview, including traditional practices that some people may find disturbing.
Thank you to everyone who listened, followed and subscribed to Field Notes during our inaugural season (special shoutout to listeners who sent in questions for our Q&A episodes 9 & 10!). Season 2 will be announced on the Field Notes website (here) and on social media (Instagram and Twitter), @lingfieldnotes