Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fieldwork on Nalik and Tok Pisin

In September 2016, Lidia Federica Mazzitelli (Postcolonial Language Studies) conducted fieldwork on Nalik, an Austronesian Language, and Tok Pisin, an English-based creole, in the village Laraibina, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea.

Lidia’s research focuses on the semantics of landscape and orientation systems. She has investigated the lexical and morphosyntactic means used to express landscape semantics in Nalik and Tok Pisin: words that describe landscape entities (‘sea’, ‘mountain’), deictics, directional particles (in Nalik a North-to-West directional system is found), movement verbs. The aim of the project is to understand how the two languages categorize and define landscape objects and how they encode landscape semantics in their grammars. Lidia also began a documentation project on the so far undescribed and undocumented language Lakurumau, spoken in only one village in New Ireland. Lidia’s fieldtrip was part of the cooperation activities of the Oceania theme semester ( supported by the Internationalization Funds of the University of Bremen. In New Ireland, Lidia worked in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Craig Volker ( who was a visiting lecturer at Postcolonial Language Studies in April/May 2016.