8 August 2012
Venue: DALSL Meeting Room 206-408, Arts 1
Contact info: Jason Brown
Contact email: email@example.com
Applied Language Studies and Linguistics seminar by Sally Nicholas, Māori Studies.
This research project is of the preposterous 'describe a hitherto un-described language' type. The language in question is the variety of Cook Islands Māori spoken in the southern group of islands in the Cook Islands. This language is very under-described with virtually no modern descriptive work, although it does have two good dictionaries and a reasonable amount of written material dating to the 19th century.
I will discuss the geographic and linguo-genetic features of Cook Islands Māori as well as some political and language maintenance issues. I will also talk about my fieldwork and the process of constructing a corpus. Theoretically speaking I intend to approach my description from the so called ‘theory neutral’ position in the vein of Matthew Dryer (2006) and Robert Dixon (1997). This type of approach aims to describe as fully as possible the rules of the language under investigation as they currently stand, without too much attention given to diachronic factors or specific theoretical agendas. Any words of wisdom in this area would be greatly appreciated.