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Grant number like: FN-50024-07

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Thurlow Wayne Dye
Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (Dallas, TX 75236-5629)

Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships
Research Programs

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2007 – 7/31/2008

Documenting the Bahinemo Language and Culture

This project is to document the Bahinemo language spoken by 300 people in Papua New Guinea. The work will comprise new video and audio texts; audio, transcribed, and glossed word lists; comparative analyses of the new language data with data from 20 to 40 years ago; and an analysis of the social dynamics contributing to the rapid decline in the use of the language. All materials will be archived and made accessible in the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures in Australia, which provides a public access website. The Principal Investigator lived in a Bahinemo village part-time for 19 years between 1964 and 1989; he speaks the language and can quickly renew acquaintances and record natural language. He has a significant repository of oral and transcribed texts and analyses from his earlier residence there and will now be able to document language change over the years. Bahinemo is a Papuan language whose speakers followed a traditional life style until late in the twentieth century; the language is an irreplaceable repository of extensive knowledge of flora and fauna and of many other aspects of life in a tropical forest. All the land belonging to these people has been marked for logging, a process that will change their lives and language immensely. Several Bahinemo speakers will be trained to assist in taking video, recording stories, and dictionary making. The project will add new digitized video and audio stories, conversations and narratives, and will provide an extensive lexicon of Bahinemo terms for future study. (Edited by staff)