Documenting Dying Languages in West Africa

Oct 13, 2009, 12:00 PM
Scott Hall, Theater Area of the CLIC

Join us for a Berglund Center Roundtable presentation featuring Tucker Childs, Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University.


Tuesday October 13, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Location: Scott Hall, Theater Area of the CLIC

The Berglund Center Roundtable Series Presents: The Technology and Tribulations of Documenting Dying Languages in West Africa

Join us for a Berglund Center Roundtable presentation featuring Tucker Childs, Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University. This Roundtable introduces a project documenting a dying language in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where a civil war has destroyed whatever infrastructure once existed in a place where no roads ever reached. Only twenty elderly speakers of the language are still extant, making this project an urgent operation as it is the only chance to document the language before it disappears entirely. This project has been Internet enabled and many problems have arisen due to the dusty, windy, humid conditions of the area and uncomfortable temperatures, as well as the constant battle of finding a reliable, portable power source.

Tucker Childs received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, and has other degrees from Stanford (A.B.), Georgetown (M.S.), and the University of Dublin (Dipl. (Hons.)). He has taught at and been associated with universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa and is now Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University. His association with Africa began when he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, and includes four years at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Childs' focus remains on West Africa. His research has included work in the areas of phonology and morphology, typology, language variation and change, contact linguistics, and sociolinguistics. Current research focuses on documenting the dying languages of South Atlantic (Niger-Congo) in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Two publications from his last project are A grammar of Mani (Mouton) and Hin som s?k! (a Mani primer), and he is currently in the second year of a three-year project documenting Kim (20 speakers) and Bom (300 speakers) of Sierra Leone. Information on these projects can be found at
http://www.ling.pdx.edu/childs/MDP.html, http://www.ling.pdx.edu/childs/DKB_Web/index.htm. http://www.voanews.com/english/LostVoices.cfm.

For a recent New York Times Story on Childs and his work, see: Scientist at Work: Tucker Childs---Linguist's Preservation Kit Has New Digital Tools at
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/science/28prof.html?_r=1

The Berglund Center for Internet Studies Roundtable will be held on Tuesday, October 13 from 12:00 pm  1:00 pm in Scott Hall in the theatre area of the CLIC. The presentation is open to all those wishing to attend with no charge for admission.  The presentation will be videotaped and posted on the internet at http://bcis.pacificu.edu/roundtables/Presentations/2009/

 


Posted by Sara Yurkowski (saray@pacificu.edu) on Sep 11, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Edited by Megan Serenco (mserenco@pacificu.edu) on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Review/Edit in CANS
Download this Event to Your Calendar
Related Pages
Anthropology
Art Department
Arts Division
Boxer Briefs
Boxer Briefs Professional Programs
Center for Civic Engagement
College of Arts & Sciences
College of Education
Humanities Division
International Programs
International Student Services
Japanese
Library
Music Department
Newsroom Spotlight
Pacific Homepage Features
Pacific Newsroom
PUNN (Pacific Univ. Network News)
Student Life Division
Study Abroad
World Languages