Alaska Native Place Names

Research assistantship for Collaborative Research: Linking Maps, Manuscripts, and Place Names Data to Improve Environmental Knowledge in Alaska Project (NSF-supported project). Spring 2019.

This project will compile a geographic database linking place name data found on historic Alaskan maps, manuscripts, and within oral histories and printed materials. The project framework integrates full GIS capabilities with multilingual audio, video, and text to reveal connections between named places and socio-ecological dimensions of landscape, including knowledge of local ecosystems and cultural values, adaptation and resilience.

Responsibilities include: Editing and management of geolinguistic datasets, preparation of data. Building and configuring online atlases using Nunaliit, an open source atlas framework running on Linux OS.

Browse a sample atlas from the project.

The phonology of Tajio Sija

Christina Truong with Derek Harman
Working paper based on original data. 2015.

This paper explores the phonology of the Sija variety of Tajio by comparing it with published research on other Tajio varieties, namely Kasimbar (Mayani 2013) and Sienjo (Himmelmann 2001). Sija is a village in West Sidoan, Parigi-Moutong, Central Sulawesi. Much of the data presented in this paper were collected and recorded in September 2015 in Palu, Central Sulawesi. Other supplementary data were collected by Derek Harman in Sija between 2007-2016 with a variety of speakers.

While Tajio Sija and the Central varieties from Kasimbar and Sienjo exhibit a rather low degree of lexical similarity for (what are considered) closely related varieties, our study shows that Tajio Sija is quite similar phonologically to the Central varieties. Additionally, our investigation of nasal obstruent sequences and reduplication in Tajio raises some questions. It is unclear what might motivate marked initial NCV patterns to emerge as an allowed or even preferred reduplicant shape. Tajio reduplication patterns may also shed light on the question of whether the reduplication base is best considered to be a phonological unit or a morphological unit.