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

CoLang 2014: Institute on Collaborative Language Research

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Alabama (Muskogean; [akz])


Description

This course is an introduction to linguistic field methods. We will work with one speaker of Alabama, a Muskogean language originally spoken in the US Southeast and still spoken by members of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe in Texas. We will elicite and analyze data from all areas of grammar. In addition to methods of elicitation, the class will cover topics such as getting informed consent, transcribing, managing, organizing and archiving data, and ethical, social, and cultural issues in fieldwork. The goal for the course is to produce a collaborative mini-description of the language with accompanying archived materials. A copy of the materials will be given to the Tribe. This will involve close collaboration among all participants and will involve some one-on-one time with the consultant.

IMPORTANT: Prospective students are asked not to do any research or reading on the structure of the language (or closely related languages such as Koasati/Coushatta) in advance. Later in the course, we will look at some of the existing materials, but in the beginning stages we will treat the language as if there were no documentation.

Materials:
—The following book is required: Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide by Claire Bowern, which will be available from the UTA bookstore.
—Using a cloth-bound notebook with acid-free paper, such as the Clairefontaine brand (http://www.shopwritersbloc.com/clairefontaine-cloth-bound-notebook-large-lined-with-margin.html), and good #2 pencils with a handheld pencil sharpener and rubber eraser, are recommended but not required. This will be available from the UTA bookstore.

Language Description

The Alabama language is spoken by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. The Alabama language is a Muskogean language. There are over a 1,000 tribal members, but only a few speak the Alabama language.


Language Consultants

Jonelle Battise

I am a member of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, my tribe is Alabama. I grew up the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation in Livingston, TX. I grew up speaking the Alabama language. Both of my parents wanted my brothers and I to speak the language and it was the spoken language at home. Language and culture is important to me and I try to incorporate it into everything I do.
I have a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor in Social Work from Stephen F. Austin State University and just recently graduated from Washington University in Louis’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work with a Master in Social Work.

The Alabama language is spoken by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. The Alabama language is a Muskogean language. There are over a 1,000 tribal members, but only a few speak the Alabama language.



Instructors

Colleen Fitzgerald - Click here to view her biography.