It was a fun experience to be interviewed for an in-flight magazine after reading so many of them over the years! This article came out in their January-February edition on all Air Niugini flights.
BY ALEX KEKAUOHA
Three years ago, linguistics PhD student Kate Lindsey was looking for new research projects when an advisor told her about a small tribe in Papua New Guinea that was seeking help preserving their language, called Ende. The tribe invited Lindsey to stay with them and create a dictionary and grammar, as well as translate various texts from English. Deciding that this field research could be developed for her dissertation, Lindsey set out a year ago for the tiny village, called Limol, 7,000 miles away.
Full Article here.
An end. A beginning.
I’m settled in at Kwale and Aruwa’s house. Our second home in Upiara. The run up to this departure was so exaggeratingly slow, that I’m surprised at how fast the past two days have felt.
Tuesday was my last work day in Limol, and consequently everyone who had ignored my requests for language help in the last two weeks came at the same time to help. I was able to get a few good recordings in and I also recorded some tutorials in Ende for how to use the camera and video cameras. Otherwise I spent the day organizing the corpus for leaving here and finishing some last minute transcriptions.
I spent all day Wednesday packing, giving things away to friends, and organizing what I’m leaving for Catherine as clearly as possible. The men all went hunting and the women went for fish. I went with Wagiba our dog Maya for sago and got my 18th run in a row! Wagiba said some really nice things to me, like how nice my Ende has gotten and how I’m everyone’s daughter in the village. We had a really nice feast. Quite a few people gave thank you speeches which felt good. At least seven mothers brought me a plate of food! Though I had more work to do on the computer, I decided to have one last showing of the Ende movie and Moana for everyone. People really liked it.
This morning was filled with last minute packing, pictures, and goodbyes. It was sadder than usual since I’m not sure when I’ll come back next. Everyone kept telling me all the old people will die while I’m gone, which, obviously, added to the sadness. But it actually felt quite rushed, I walked out of the village and it was hard to tell if my backpack was more full with my few possessions or leaves and flowers slipped in by my friends.
Now I’m in Upiara after an uneventful but very slow canoe ride in the hot sun. I sweated in two layers, a rain coat, and an umbrella but I think I avoided sunburn. I am looking forward to this trip to Daru, as I’m taking Wagiba with me on the plane and I know she will help me get what I need to get done done. Besides the usual shopping for Limol, my top priority is to get some recordings of an Agob speaker - Agob is the last language we need for a full survey of the Pahoturi River language family. I also hope to get a lot of transcribing done and to watch the World Cup final, but that depends on how many people come to visit and the TV channel selection at Tobest. Fingers crossed!
While this is an end to something big - my year here ‘down under’ - I also see it as the beginning of the last year of my PhD, which I am really, really excited to begin. This year will be all about writing, publishing, presenting, applying for jobs, and networking. I’ve got quite a few papers and talks lined up, and I’m excited just to do my best and talk about my work - which is something I still love! Many people experience getting burnt out from their dissertation, so perhaps I’m lucky that I had even more frustrating things to get burnt out on that my relationship with my thesis is still in tact :) hope it lasts through the year!
For now my mind is all on Australia. A few papers, presentations, meetings, and even a movie premiere are all scheduled for the next two weeks. I’m also starting my writing bootcamp, which is four hours of writing every morning, which I hope to keep up throughout the year! Penny is also taking me out for a birthday dinner (!) and Andrey has booked me a day at the spa (!) so I’m looking forward to getting nice and pampered too.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Kate Lynn Lindsey