OLAC Record

Title:Soundscapes and Language Documentation: Collecting bird songs and human stories
Morehead: Languages of Southern New Guinea
Contributor (researcher):Dr. Julia Colleen Miller
Coverage:Papua New Guinea
Description:Paper presented at Language Documentation: Past, Present, and Future, 5-7 June 2013, Hannover, Germany ABSTRACT There is growing interest in collaboration between language documentation projects and other scientific disciplines. Ethnobotanists have successfully collaborated with documentation teams, as we saw yesterday, to document plant names and their general uses. Another successful association for yielding great linguistic material (and not just taxonomical information) is with the help of ethno-ornithologists, or in our case, a very special Anthropologist who has an extensive birding background. This talk describes one aspect of our most recent team trip to the Morehead District of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea, specifically focusing on our collection of bird names. Initiated by Dr. Chris Healey, a social anthropologist specializing in traditional ecological knowledge. The bird walks were an engaging, natural elicitation environment for collecting fluent, unscripted language as well as carefully pronounced target words. Armed with a head-mounted microphone, a shot-gun microphone, various cameras and a pack of eager local bird spotters, our team collected hours of birdsong, speaker commentary, including physical descriptions and habits of the birds, heated discussions by the bird spotters, high-quality recordings of bird names in language and, when possible, in English, and short stories about the birds we were hearing. Keywords: Birds; Phonetics
This project focuses on collecting multimedia documentation of multiple undescribed Papuan languages – Nen and Nambu (Morehead-Maro) and Kmntso (Tonda). Other nearby languages will have varrying degrees of description, including Idi, Nama, and Neme. All of these languages belong to an almost completely unknown family in Southern New Guinea. Based at the Australian National University in Canberra, plus collaborations with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, and the PNG National Herbarium, the project will embed a German PhD student (Christian Döhler) in a team including a seasoned field linguist (Nick Evans) and a post-doc (Julia Colleen Miller), two Germany-based typologists (Bernard Comrie and Volker Gast) from the FAUST (Future Archive User Simulation Team), plus participation on targeted fieldtrips by ethnobiologist Chris Healey (ANU) and botanist Kipiro Damas (PNG National Herbarium, Madang). Particular foci of the documentation will be the natural world (especially ethnobotany and ethnoornithology), swidden cultivation, fire management and ethnoecology, mythology, auto-ethnography, ethnomathematics, and microvariation in language use in a situation of daily multilingualism.nichola
Publisher:Professor Nicholas Evans
The Australian National University
Subject:Secondary document
Wára language
English language
Nen language
Subject (ISO639):tci


Archive:  The Language Archive at the MPI for Psycholinguistics
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/www.mpi.nl
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:www.mpi.nl:1839_00-0000-0000-0022-3B68-9
DateStamp:  2017-02-14
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Citation: Dr. Julia Colleen Miller (researcher). 2013-07-07. Professor Nicholas Evans.
Terms: area_Europe area_Pacific country_GB country_PG iso639_eng iso639_nqn iso639_tci

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomPapua New Guinea
Area: EuropePacific

Up-to-date as of: Wed Apr 12 1:02:18 EDT 2017