Fieldwork and Language Documentation

Survey updates

August 15, 2020

Updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Emily Drummond has archived a new collection of materials on Nukuoro (Polynesian, Micronesia). This is a diverse set of 125 file bundles beginning in 2015 and including audio recordings of elicitation sessions, oral narratives, and conversational texts; field notes; transcriptions; and photos and videos documenting cultural and other practices. The primary speaker contributors are Mina Lekka, Johnny (Soni) Rudolph & Ruth (Analidele) Rudolph, with many others.
  • Florian Lionnet (PhD 2016), now a faculty member at Princeton, has archived a new collection of materials on Cèmuhî, Nemi, and Paicî (Kanak, New Caledonia). This is a collaboration with consultants Anna Gonari, Hélène Nimbaye, Moïse Pwaili, Michel Tutugoro, Jean-Claude Vaiadimoin, and Aman. The collection includes sound recordings and associated ELAN/TextGrid files of phonological elicitation on tone and coarticulation, and for measurements of oral and nasal airflow.
  • We released linguistic materials on Cupeño (Uto-Aztecan, California), made by Berkeley alum (BA 1960) and anthropologist Jane Hill (1939-2018) in collaboration with speakers Roscinda Nolasquez, Frances Bosley, James Brittian & Venturo Leir, primarily during fieldwork from 1962 to 1964 for Hill's PhD dissertation A Grammar of the Cupeño Language (UCLA 1966). Divided into five series, the core of the collection is 11 scanned notebooks filled with elicitation on grammar and vocabulary and with transcriptions of texts, alongside 11 digitized reel-to-reel tapes. Some of the recordings were copied to cassettes that accompanied Hill & Nolasquez's (1973) Mulu'wetam: The First People: Cupeño Culture, Mythology, and Cupeño Language Dictionary.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Falam Chin (Kuki-Chin, Myanmar), from the 2007-2008 graduate field methods course. The consultant was Ni Luai Thang, the instructor was Alice Gaby, and students were Amy Campbell, David Kamholz, Dominic Yu, Heather Todd, Justin Spence, Michael Ellsworth, Ramón Escamilla & Russell Rhodes.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Garifuna (Arawakan; Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua), from the 2011-2012 graduate field methods course. The consultant was Dr. Philip Timothy Palacio, the instructor was Lev Michael, and students were alums Chundra Cathcart, I-hsuan Chen, Emily Cibelli, Shinae Kang, Eric Prendergast, Christine Sheil, Tammy Stark & Elise Stickles.
  • We released a new collection of materials on Turkmen (Turkic; Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), from the 2013-2014 graduate field methods course. The consultant was Nazik Aytjanova, the instructor was Dasha Kavitskaya, and students were Sarah Bakst, Antony D'Avirro, Matt Goss, Herman Leung, Auburn Lutzross, Jonathan Manker, Orchid Pusey & Katie Sardinha.
  • We released new collections of materials on San Pedro Necta Mam & Todos Santos Cuchumatán Mam (Mayan, Guatemala), from the 2018-2019 graduate field methods course. The consultants were Wendy Ruiz (San Pedro Necta) & Brenda Calmo Jerónimo, Gerardo Gerónimo Lorenzo & Rudy Pablo (Todos Santos), the instructor was Lev Michael, and students were Martha Schwarz, Schuyler Laparle, Tyler Lemon & Wesley dos Santos.

Survey updates

May 20, 2020

Updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Teresa McFarland (PhD 2009) has archived a new collection of field notes, sound recordings, and photographs related to Filomeno Mata Totonac (Totonac-Tepehuan; Veracruz, Mexico), from dissertation fieldwork spanning 2003 to 2009, with additional interviews done by Berkeley undergrads in 2015. We digitized 95 minidiscs (about 135GB), which document a rich research project on many aspects of phonology and morphosyntax, alongside many texts. Each file bundle represents a day, and includes page number references to the field notes and indications of transcriptions of texts.

Robertson and Rybka published in Cadernos de Etnolingüística

April 9, 2020

Congratulations to Allegra Robertson and recent post-doc Konrad Rybka
, whose article "A grammatical description of Warao imperatives: Formal brevity and morphological complexity" was published this week in Cadernos de Etnolingüística. Read it here!

Survey receives "Documenting Endangered Languages" grant

April 7, 2020

The National Endowment for the Humanities, through its "Documenting Endangered Languages" grant program (in collaboration with the National Science Foundation), announced today that it will fund a project to be administered by the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages (PI Andrew Garrett, $332,762): "Archiving legacy documentation from southern California and the southwest: Toward a new collaborative model."

This two-year project will catalog, digitize, and describe sound recordings and paper materials assembled over many years by Berkeley professor emerita Leanne Hinton, Margaret Langdon (Berkeley PhD 1966), Frank Lobo, and Pamela Munro, making them accessible where appropriate in the California Language Archive. A key element of the project is collaboration with several Indigenous communities to create a model of co-curation and community-based description of materials we catalog. The grant will support a full-time postdoctoral position in the department to coordinate and supervise all the work.

Survey updates

April 6, 2020

Zach O'Hagan sends the following updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Augmenting our activities with work that can be done from home, we've digitized 120 color slides from Harvey Carlson's 1984 fieldwork on Aikanã (isolate; Brazil). We also redigitized over 100 prints scanned at higher resolution. Carlson (d. 1994) received a BA from our department and also worked for many years in the Berkeley Language Center, whose recording studio is named in his honor. He was inspired to do fieldwork in Rondônia after taking a seminar titled Indian Languages of South America from visiting professor Aryon Rodrigues in the winter 1983 quarter.

Survey updates

March 23, 2020

Zach O'Hagan sends the following updates from the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages:

  • Christine Sheil (PhD 2016) archived a new collection of sound recordings of 18 elicitation sessions on Scottish Gaelic (Indo-European; Scotland), stemming from her dissertation fieldwork there in 2013 and 2014.
  • Wilson de Lima Silva (Arizona) archived a new collection on Ticuna (isolate; Brazil, Colombia, Peru), based on fieldwork in the Cidade de Deus neighborhood of Manaus, Brazil during his MA research at the University of Utah in 2004. There are sound recordings of elicitation, reading, and texts, as well as derivative materials like MA coursework and previously published booklets.
  • We archived a new collection of sound recordings and written materials related to Chungli Ao (Ao; India), which derive from the 2008-2009 graduate field methods course (Linguistics 240) co-taught by Alice Gaby and Lev Michael, with language consultant Moa Imchen. The students in the course were Alex Bratkievich, Daniel Bruhn (PhD 2014), Ramón Escamilla (PhD 2012), Lindsey Newbold, Hannah Pritchett, Marilola Pérez (PhD 2015), and Russell Rhodes. Prof. Gaby is now at Monash University in Melbourne. We're grateful to undergraduate student Ellis Miller, who's working as an LRAP apprentice in the Survey this semester, for making the content descriptions for the items in this collection.
  • Steve Parker (Dallas International University & SIL International) archived a new collection of field notes and sound recordings of Panobo/Huariapano (Panoan; Peru). Dating from 1991, these are the only known sound recordings of Panobo in existence, the language being thought to have no more first-language speakers. The consultant was Arquímedes Sinuiri Nunta.