Very soon Maria Mazzoli will leave Bremen for her field research in Canada in the context of her postdoctoral Bremen TRAC project. She will spend five months in Winnipeg and join the University of Manitoba - Institute for the Humanities as a research affiliate.
In collaboration with her host Dr. Nicole Rosen, Maria will work with Michif speakers on the structure of complex Michif stems: she will investigate verbal derivation and compositionality in the verb stem, and also productivity of derivational suffixes.
Michif is a Plains Cree - Metis French mixed language. It is spoken today by few people in some traditional Metis communities within the Metis homeland, which is a vast territory spanning from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes, including the three Canadian prairies provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) and parts of the Northwest Territories, plus the northern prairies of North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota in the US.
While an affiliate at the University of Manitoba, Maria aims to combine the work with Metis Elders, fluent Michif speakers, with young Metis interested in deepen their knowledge of the language.
Figure. Distribution of Michif speakers and Michif varieties (source Statistics of Canada 2011).