July 29th, 2009

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Linguist’s Preservation Kit Has New Digital Tools

Linguist’s Preservation Kit Has New Digital Tools

x-posted to linguists

TEI, Sierra Leone — Jogue, yipe, simoi are three short words for foods in Kim, a language in Sierra Leone that Tucker Childs has been trying, for the past three years, to write down, record and understand.

Kim is a dying language, and Dr. Childs a field linguist. From his base here in Tei, a small fishing village on the Waanje River, he canoes up the narrow waterways that cut across the river’s floodplain, and hikes a few miles inland, to where the last Kim communities remain. Based on recordings taken there, he has devised an alphabet and compiled a dictionary and is finishing a book on the grammar.

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Briar Rose
  • gwinna

Fertile Crescent 'Will Disappear this Century'

Is it the final curtain for the Fertile Crescent? This summer, as Turkish dams reduce the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to a trickle, farmers abandon their desiccated fields across Iraq and Syria, and efforts to revive the Mesopotamian marshes appear to be abandoned, climate modellers are warning that the current drought is likely to become permanent. The Mesopotamian cradle of civilisation seems to be returning to desert.

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Today I went to speak with my advisor at ASU  about my BA in  Anthropology, and afterwards I met up with my professor at a Lucy exhibit in the Social sciences building.  What was really cool about the meeting was the fact that she introduced me to Don Johanson!  I was starstruck, needless to say.  He is a really humble and warm guy, and very intellegent.  I sat there for 30 minutes or so listening to my professor and Dr. Johanson debate back and forth so on and so forth, this really amused me.  Anyho, I wanted to post this exciting venture I had today online.
Cheers!