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Why is summer 2013 big for us? And what are we going to do with 2,750 lattes?

Two primary events – (1) Trip to Nigeria, and (2) Preparations at SIL-UND.
(1) Trip to Nigeria
We plan on being in Nigeria for 4 weeks – mid-August to mid-September. This allows for two things:

  1. Becky to use this time to meet with the u̱t-Maꞌin speakers she worked with previously and collect some additional language data for us to use back in Oregon.
    This particular conversation and investigation revolves around tone in the language. Variation of tonal patterns (melodies) plays a big role in defining grammatical features of the language (like tense and aspect) and showing how clauses are related. However, we don’t know what the baseline is for words. We hope to get the data we need at the word level during this trip.
  2. Hugh to meet and see the community for the first time. These relationships are important as we progress towards longer term, on-site involvement with u̱t-Maꞌin speaking communities after Becky finishes her Ph.D studies.

(2) Summer preparations at SIL-UND in Grand Forks.

  1. This allows Hugh to get some much needed training in linguistics and community based literacy in preparation for leaving for Nigeria. This gives him the academic credentials (and knowledge) and the respect of African peers in Nigeria.These kinds of skills are necessary in Language Development work as we work with communities and help them consider sustainable options for the use of their language in various communicative contexts, like digital media, and schools.
  2. While at SIL-UND Becky will be working with a well-respected linguist (Keith Snider) who specializes in linguistic tone systems. This interaction will guide her as she puts together the research plan for while we are in Nigeria.