I am overcome with gratitude - the Ende Language Project has been awarded the generous Firebird Fellowship for the fourth year in a row! This year’s project: Passing On Knowledge - a seven week technology workshop training youth in Limol how to use video cameras and computers to make short films about their grandparents and ancestors. We wouldn’t have been funded if not for the amazing work done first by Grace, Diana, Elizabeth, Catherine, Gwynn, and Lauren. Cheers to you all and may this project open up doors to knowledge and opportunity for everyone in Limol.
All smiles after 10 weeks of language work! I had intended on staying in Limol through June but I had some computer troubles and made the decision to come out to Canberra for a month and stay in through July instead. The fieldtrip was another wild success. Although I was alone this trip, I was still able to double the size of the spoken corpus by conducting 62 sociolinguistic interviews. I made a lot of progress on the grammar and phonology and trained Warama and Tonny how to transcribe with the computer.
Third version of the Ende dictionary printed and bound today! More names and faces on this year’s cover and most importantly way more words inside!
Talk: Diachronic typology meets contact typology - a regional case study from Southern New Guinea (ALT 12)
What an exciting talk to give with Nick Evans, Dineke Schokkin, Eri Kashima, Mark Ellison, Kyla Quinn, and Jeff Siegel! Together, we presented some discussions on the following questions: Do different levels of linguistic structure change at different rates? and Are those levels affected differently in language contact? Nick introduced a new word vergence to talk about convergence, divergence, and nonvergence among the languages in Southern New Guinea. We presented and compared phonemic, lexical, kinship, and morphological data across the region. As you can see in the photo above - it was a popular talk!
Another enormously successful field trip to Limol in the books. I learned so much, not just about the language, but about what it means to be kind, generous, and selfless, Ende qualities that abound in KT village. This picture is of me and "the boys" who make this crazy dictionary/grammar/corpus thing happen! Jeff, Joshua, Warama, Tonny, and Jerry far right. Couldn't do what I do without their hard work and awesome attitudes!
I am very happy to report that I have been awarded support from the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research. They have accepted my proposal to collect and annotate the Ende spoken corpus and expand the Ende dictionary and grammar. Their support will go directly toward this important documentation task that has been requested directly by the Ende speaking community. I feel very honored to have their support and look forward to sharing this with Limol.
On May 19th, I gave a talk titled “Verbal Reduplication in Ende” at the 3rd annual Northwest Phonetics and Phonology Conference. The data presented in this talk were collected in 2015 and 2016 and the proposed analysis for the three reduplication patterns is part of my dissertation proposal. I got some great feedback and stayed with my friend Oksana, whom I met in 2011 at the LSA Institute in Boulder. I’ve attached the slides below.
Today, I received the wonderful news that my proposal to continue research on the phonology and morphology of the Ende verb was accepted by the Stanford Vice Provost for Education Diversity Dissertaiton Research Opportunity fund. This grant will support travel and equipment fees related to my dissertation.
On May 6, I completed my first 100-mile bike ride - the Wine Country Century - to raise awareness for my Light for Limol campaign. During the month of April, I shared videos and stories about life in Limol, where solar powered lanterns and water rollers will make a big difference in the lives of Ende speakers. My goal was to raise $1000 to bring 2 water rollers and 40 solar lanterns - one lantern for every house in Limol. My friends and family went above and beyond to support me and as of May 6, we raised $2025 for Limol! This money will go to 4 water rollers and 80 solar lanterns, which will be shared between the villages of Limol and Malam.
I had the wonderful opportunity to share some data and thoughts on nominal and verbal reduplication in Ende with the Stanford Phonology Interest group before presenting my talk at NoW Phon. I got some great feedback from my dissertation committee and other members of the reading group.
Strengthening the Ende Language Project with Sustainable Community Development
The Ende Language Project is a local initiative to write down and translate Ende, a language spoken in Western Province, Papua New Guinea. I was invited to join the team in 2015 to develop a writing system, begin a dictionary, and translate important texts. As a linguist, I brought my own questions and collected a wealth of information about one of the last undocumented languages. The trip was so successful that I am returning this summer to continue training the team and to gather data for my dissertation.
However, language does not exist in a vacuum and the community that speaks it struggles with daily survival. My previous trip addressed some needs, but the Community Engagement Grant would empower the Ende Language Project to combine our academic pursuits and community engagement in a life-saving, sustainable way. Lack of knowledge and means for proper handwashing puts the entire community in danger. For $4,000, the Ende Language Project can translate important hygiene information into Ende and set up six handwashing stations around the village. This initiative has been requested by the community, will involve local materials and workers to ensure sustainability, and has been shown to improve community health.
Expanding the Ende Oral Literature Collection
Dear George Appell and the Firebird Foundation Fellowship Committee,
I am excited to bring you more fantastic news regarding the Ende Oral Literature Collection, a project graciously funded by the Firebird Foundation in 2015. I have previously informed you about the overwhelming success of our 2015 trip in letters and with the materials that we sent to the Firebird Foundation Archive, also summarized below. The Ende people of Limol, Papua New Guinea were also very pleased with the project and have attached their signatures below in support of its continuation.
The present proposal seeks to expand last year’s goals, which were to record Ende traditional stories, establish an Ende orthography, and explore the range of Ende orature. This year, I’m bringing two more specialists to enhance my linguistic expertise. The first, Diana Johnson, is an illustrator, storyteller, nurse with Doctors Without Borders, experienced project coordinator, and an avid outdoorswoman, who plans to apply all her skills to writing and illustrating the first short books for the local elementary school and health post. Second, Elizabeth Conlan is a horticultural scientist with expertise in plant anatomy, physiology, and nutrition, international agriculture, and rural development. Her aim is to understand how storytelling and traditional knowledge can inform both our knowledge of the role of agricultural crops in the community and the natural sciences more broadly. Finally, I will be exploring a question of interest to my linguistics dissertation: does the act of writing down spoken language reveal a hyper-correct grammar? Ende is the perfect language for this study, as we can document the progression of the two diverging grammars (what can be said and what can be written), from the origins of writing itself.
Continued support from the Firebird Foundation ensures this project’s success and allows for a continuity of materials and focus. We foresee a long-term relationship with this community and we are grateful for your support.
Kate L. Lindsey
Diana L. Johnson
Today, I enjoyed talking to the Fieldwork Forum about Word Order in Ende.
Title: Sentence structure in Ende: just what the linguist ordered?
Abstract: Ende is a Pahoturi language spoken in southern Papua New Guinea. Speakers of Ende generally smiled and laughed “Yes, that’s okay!” when I scrambled their words into various orders. Is there free word order in Ende or were my experts simply very agreeable? To explore this question, I set aside the elicitations and looked at three types of non-elicited data with varying formality (1) oral texts, (2) written texts, and (3) translated texts. Throughout the talk, we will discuss some challenges of eliciting syntactic judgments, methods for finding order in a handwritten corpus, and the pros and cons of working with elicited, oral, written and translated data.
Note: From 9:30-9:40, as we wait for everyone, I will play some video clips of daily life in a Papuan village.
The Stanford Storytelling Project is an arts program at Stanford University that explores how we live in and through stories and, even more importantly, how to deepen our lives through our own storytelling. Our mission is to promote the transformative nature of traditional and modern oral storytelling, from Lakota tales to Radiolab, and empower students to create and perform their own stories. The project sponsors courses, workshops, live events, and grants. In 2012, we created a new radio show, State of the Human, where we share stories that deepen our understanding of single, common human experiences—fighting, giving, lying, resilience—all drawn from the experiences and research of the Stanford community.
Three Braden Storytelling Grants are given annually to research and create an audio documentary based on oral history archives or interviews.
I have been offered a Braden Storytelling Grant for my project, "Telling an Ende Story." This will benefit the fieldwork that I will do this summer on the Ende language in Papua New Guinea.
Kate Lynn Lindsey