Assistant Adjunct Professor Chris Beier has been awarded a 2022 Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowship from the National Endowment of Humanities (NEH). This grant will support her project entitled Transcription, Parsing, and Comparative Analysis of Tone in Iquito Texts. Beier will be on leave in order to carry out this project in Peru between June 2022 and August 2023.
Beier offered this description of the funded project: "This project advances the documentation and description of Iquito, a critically endangered Zaparoan language of northern Peruvian Amazonia, with a focus on its complex tonal system. Core activities include transcription, parsing, and analysis of texts from circa 1960; re-parsing of re-analyzed texts from 2002-2018; and comparative analysis of these texts to inform ongoing grammatical description of Iquito. Because Iquito's tonal system includes both boundary Hs and HLL melodies that surface in multiple domains and across word boundaries, text-based analysis of connected speech is an indispensable tool for discovery. Thorough documentation of Iquito’s tonal system will inform the typology of tone in Amazonia, and contribute to cross-linguistic typology and theories of grammatical tone."