Linguistic Fieldwork and Documentation Training in Indonesia

Goal of Program

This is a training program in linguistic field work and language documentation funded by a grant from the Documenting Endangered Language Program of the National Science Foundation (DEL) to the University of Delaware (award BCS – 1747801) and conducted in collaboration with the Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia and  the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA),  an affiliate of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS). It is a unique opportunity for graduate students in linguistics to gain training in linguistic fieldwork and documentary linguistics. Students from the U.S. will travel to East Indonesia and will be paired with local students who are interested in documenting their languages.

Our program is also intended to test whether an effective way to increase the pace of language documentation and description in Indonesia is to form teams of several Indonesian students with an interest in documenting their native language, and and one or more American graduate students with an interest in fieldwork and language documentation.

In the summer  of 2018, we initiated the program with great success. Eight Indonesian participants and four US graduate students formed teams that were trained to  collaborate in documenting and describing a local language spoken in one of the communities found on West Timor and various surrounding islands.

This project is being carried out with the assistance of the American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS).  AIFIS’s main goals are to foster scholarly exchange between Indonesia and the United States, and to promote educational, artistic, and research collaborations between the countries.  AIFIS offers a variety of fellowships to support Americans working in Indonesia, and Indonesians working in the United States.

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