Native Languages of the Southwest at UT Arlington
From the 2012 Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop; the Alabama group, with UT Arlington Linguistics &Student Lori McLain Pierce

Department of Linguistics & TESOL | The University of Texas at Arlington

Native American Languages of the Southwest

Related Courses

Fall 2011

LING 3330 - Phonetics and Phonology
HONR-LA 3304-004 (Honors listing)
  Section 001 (80037) - TuTh 11:00 am - 12:20 pm – (Fitzgerald)
Phonetics is the study of speech sounds from a physical perspective (such as articulatory or acoustic), while phonology focuses on the patterning of speech sounds in particular languages from a more abstract or cognitive perspective. This course introduces both phonetics and phonology at the undergraduate level. In the Fall 2011 offering of this course, students acquire the fundamentals of phonetic and phonological description and analysis. To accompany this theoretical and practical grounding, there will be some introduction to the tools of recording and software for speech analysis, which will give students some preliminary skills in doing phonetic and phonological research on their own. Additionally, there will be a final project of some sort relating to the phonetics and phonology of Oklahoma Native American languages, with the possibility of including some kind of "service learning" component. While the details for that are still under development, this may include different options for different students based on interest and skill levels: perhaps editing or annotating archival sound files from Native American languages, participating in a hands-on training session for Oklahoma Native Language teachers, or digitizing sound files for a tribal language project. Students will emerge from the class with some amount of each the following: the tools to do preliminary sound analysis, the theoretical background to take more advanced phonology classes like LING 4320, practical applications of phonetics and phonology for language teaching, and a possible research project. This will be an exciting opportunity for students to learn more about phonetics and phonology via a unique part of the American heritage, the indigenous languages of Oklahoma. (Feel free to contact the instructor if you have additional questions.) Prerequisite: LING 3311 or permission of undergraduate advisor.

LING 5380 - Field Methods
  Section 001 (80033) - Mon 12:00 pm - 2:50 pm – (Fitzgerald, Kandybowicz)
  Debriefing: Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:50
  Individual sessions (later in the semester): Mon 10 am - 11 am, plus with opportunities as they arise onsite most likely on Fridays or in Ada, Oklahoma on some Saturdays.
  Information session for the class will be held Thurs Aug 25 from 3:30 - 4:50, in TH 118, since the first official day of class will be work with our speaker.
This course introduces students to linguistic field methods, via hands-on work with a speaker or speakers of a minority/underdocumented language unknown to the class participants. he language for AY 2011-12 will be Chickasaw, a severely endangered language in the Muskogean family with 120 speakers remaining, about 80 fluent speakers and the youngest 58 years old. We will work to learn as much as possible about this language using a combination of approaches, including structuring elicitations, using texts and developing techniques for analyzing and presenting complex linguistic data. The goal is to learn, describe and document the language's grammar: its phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Current best practices in language documentation (data management and archiving, linguistic software, ethical considerations and use of appropriate technology) will be incorporated into the class. As is the practice at most departments that offer rigorous training in language documentation and description, the course will also necessitate additional time commitments (individual/small group meetings with speakers, group meta-discussion of data and readings, etc.). MA students considering taking this course should therefore consult with the instructors prior to enrolling. Note that this is the first semester of a two-semester sequence, with enrollment in LING 6380 Field Methods Seminar continuing work on the same language in the spring; students cannot take LING 6380 without first completing LING 5380.

Spring 2010

LING 6390 Linguistics Seminar: Sustainability and Language Endangerment (Fitzgerald)
  W 1:30pm-4:20pm - Call #21495
Current estimates are that more than half of the world's languages will become extinct during our lifetime. This seminar looks language endangerment, what it means for a language to become endangered, and language revitalization, examining cases where communities are seeking to maintain the number of speakers, or revive the language. This is a course with a service-learning outreach requirement, where each student will be required to participate on one of several planned trips to Oklahoma (anticipating covering travel expenses through a Graduate School grant and matching departmental funds). This offers an opportunity for students to both theorize about language endangerment, maintenance and revitalization, as well as to see endangered language teaching, revitalization, and maintenance and participate in actual projects in nearby Native American communities, tribal communities, and universities serving those communities. These partners currently include Comanche Nation College (which offers Comanche language classes), Northeastern State University (which trains Cherokee language teachers and graduates the highest number of Native American students with B.A.s in the U.S.), and the University of Oklahoma's Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (which has a significant language archive), as well as a language revitalization workshop held annually in mid-April at NSU as part of the American Indian Symposium. This class offers the prospect of making connections with future prospects for students to continue such activities. Comanche Nation College just received an ANA grant, and there is a portion budgeted to pay student interns to work on language revitalization activities. The Sam Noble museum has plans to hold a Breath of Life workshop in summer 2010, working with community members of languages that are dormant (no current speakers). The goal is to have four different trip options over the course of the semester, two during parts of spring break and the third mid-April, for students to choose from. Consult the instructor for additional information.