Foundation for Endangered Languages

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5. Allied Societies and Activities

Summer Institute of Linguistics catalogues endangered languages of Papua New Guinea A new page on endangered langugaes has been added to SIL’s PNG website. The new page lists sample endangered languages in PNG, and has links to pages summarising the vitality of each language, as well as available resources on the language. This page is a resource for those interested in studying endangered languages, or languages of PNG for which there is limited time for data collection. The page will be a work in progress, with further information to be added.

The web-page address is: http:// www. sil. org/ pacific/ png/ endan-gered. asp. From LR-Linguistics at SIL

Research Assistants needed for language documentation project

The Project for the Documentation of the Krim and Bom Languages (DKB) is a two-and-a-half-year project (Sept 07 – May 2010) funded by the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project (SOAS, Univer-sity of London) and the National Science Foundation (USA). The site of DKB is the southern coast of Sierra Leone (West Africa) in a low-lying area of tidal estuaries and mangrove swamps. Field conditions are difficult; the research site is beautiful but can be reached only by boat. A solar-power system will be the source of power for recording equipment, computers, etc.

The purpose of the DKB is to document the dying language Krim (krm) with several score speakers, and possibly the even more threat-ened language Bom (bmf), which had only one partial speaker during the 2006 pilot study.

See for additional informa-tion on the project. The web site contains an early charac-terization of a preceding project on the related language Mani (buy).

Research assistants are sought with the following qualifications. (Please note that it is not expected that any one candidate will have all of the qualifications listed below.) The qualifications in the first group are required.

  • Availability: Jan-May 2008 and/or Jan-May 2009
  • Graduate degree or graduate standing in Linguistics, (Lin-guistic) Anthropology, or a related discipline
  • Linguistic training, an interest / some experience in linguis-tic fieldwork
  • Speaking ability in English The qualifications in the second set are desirable but not all are re-quired.
  • Adaptability to or familiarity with third-world living condi-tions
  • Willingness to learn other languages, including the project working languages Krio (kri, an English-based extended pidgin (also a creole), one of the national languages of Si-erra Leone) and Mende (men, the language to which Krim and Bom speakers have switched)
  • Willingness to train others to perform linguistic fieldwork
  • Film-making expertise and/or experience
  • Speaking ability in Mende and/or Krio

    Two periods of participation are possible, over one or two years, with each year consisting of a five-month fieldwork stretch from approxi-mately January to May. There are two research assistantships avail-able each year. In addition to the RAs, other members of the research team are the following (all from Sierra Leone): the co-PI from Fourah Bay College in Freetown, one advanced graduate student, two years’ worth of Honours students enrolled in the Linguistics Programme at Fourah Bay College, and the Krim and Bom speech communities.

    Compensation consists of a monthly stipend of US$ 900; in addition, all field expenses will be covered by the project. These include trans-portation, visas, inoculations, insurance, living expenses in-country, etc.

    Please send a letter expressing your interest, a CV, and the names of two referees (with contact information), who can be reached by e-mail or telephone. Please state whether you would prefer a one-year or a two-year stint. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled, but I would like to reach a decision before the 1st of August since there is the possibility of a week-long course of training at SOAS 5-11 Sept 2007. Should you require further information, please contact me directly.

    G. Tucker Childs (Princ. Invest.) childst at
    Portland State University, Department of Applied Linguistics, PO Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751, USA