Practica offer participants an intensive experience working with speakers to document a language. These practica sessions will meet 6 days per week over 3 weeks, July 5-23. Participants in practica will also register for a pre-practicum workshop during the 2-week workshop session in order to get some familiarity with the language. For 2016 practica will be offered in the following three languages.

Miyako (Ryukyuan)

Instructors: Toshihide Nakayama,Yoshi Ono,Miyako speakers

Ryukyuan languages are spoken on the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. They are closely related to Japanese and all are endangered. Miyako Ryukyuan, spoken in the Southern Ryukyus, consists of several dialects, and in this practicum we examine Ikema, spoken on three separate islands in the area. We focus both on the linguistic and human aspects in working with endangered languages. After going over some general characteristics of the language, practicum participants will work on their individual projects. We will be flexible in accommodating participants’ needs, but having some knowledge of Japanese will be essential in doing this practicum. Please note that our focus is not on descriptive or theoretical analyses of the language for the sake of advancement of academic research. It is inspired by the recent views of documentary linguistics and CoLang where we aspire to work collaboratively with the speakers and communities in order to create a comprehensive record of the language as a whole and how it is used in actual context. The main goal of this practicum, therefore, is to gain hands-on experience in planning and carrying out a documentation project by applying documentary linguistic methods and skills acquired during the two-week workshop. Our featured speaker will be Mr. Hiroyuki Nakama, a Miyako and Japanese bilingual who originally came from Nishihara on Miyako Island.

[Miyako Prep Workshop Syllabus]

[Miyako Practica Syllabus] 

Han Athabascan (Dene)

Instructors: Willem De Reuse, Ruth Ridley

[Han Athabascan Prep Workshop Syllabus]

[Han Athabascan Practica Syllabus]

Unangam Tunuu (Aleut)

Instructors: Anna Berge, Moses Dirks

This practicum focuses on fieldwork on a sleeping or less accessible language using archival materials. Sleeping languages are languages that are not actively being spoken but that have been documented and that are being revitalized with the help of the documentation. Less accessible languages are those which are not easily accessible to the language worker for a number of reasons, including geographic, financial, social, or political constraints on travel to a community, lack of speakers in a given community, etc. Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Aleut, ISO 639-3 ale) is a less accessible language: it is highly endangered with fewer than 100 fluent speakers, and travel to various speaker communities can be costly and difficult because of their remoteness and extreme weather conditions. The language has been very well documented from the 19th century to the present. The archival record includes linguistic field notes, native writings, and many sound and video recordings; most are still unpublished and these materials are housed at the Alaska Native Language Archive. 

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