Martha Tsutsui Billins

Martha Tsutsui Billins is the host & producer of Field Notes. She has an MA in Language Documentation & Description and a PhD in Linguistics from SOAS, University of London. Her research focuses on the Ryukyuan language Amami Oshima, specifically  honourifics and politeness strategies in the context of language endangerment. Martha has conducted fieldwork in London (researching Uchinaayamatuguchi, a mixed language of Okinawa) and Amami Oshima (Setouchi variety). She also lectures at California State University, Fresno, in the Department of Anthropology.

Martha has three years of experience of working at the Endangered Languages Archive, where she worked as an Archive Assistant (and later Senior Archive Assistant). She has also worked with the Indigenous Peoples’ Centre for Documentation, Research & Information (Docip) as well as the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social & Language Documentation (CIDLeS).

Martha has trained researchers and community members in language documentation and methodology, including; audio and video recording & equipment, metadata creation (CMDI and IMDI metadata formats), data management, informed consent, ethnography and digital archiving. She has trained local researchers and community members in capacity building workshops held all over the world, including London, Berlin, Amami, and Lisbon.

To read about Martha’s daily routine in the field, you can visit this post on the ELAR blog.

Martha runs the Linguistics Jobs series on the popular linguistics blog, Superlinguo. She is also a production assistant for the Lingthusiasm podcast.

When Martha is not writing up, lecturing, podcasting, or in the field, she is spending time with her family and her rescue pup, probably outside.

White Cliffs of Dover, U.K.