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of the Summer Institute of Linguistics,
University of North Dakota Session
Volume 49 (2005-2009)
Volume editor: Joan Baart
The implications of language documentation for an endangered but vibrant language community: a historical perspective
Stephen A. Marlett
(11 pages, 140 Kb)
Documentation of an endangered language may be a short project that is carried out with urgency and with primarily academic benefits because the speakers are not passing on the language to others. This paper presents historical perspective on a quite different kind of situation. The documentation of the Seri language has taken place over a considerable period of time and with goals that were primarily community-focused. It documents some of the challenges that have been present during those years and also the benefits of that documentation that are just now beginning to be felt by the speakers of that language.
Do the Talysh and Tat Languages Have a Future in Azerbaijan?
John M Clifton
(5 pages, 167 Kb)
Tat and Talysh are two less-widely-used Iranian languages indigenous to Azerbaijan. Sociolinguistic research revealed that both languages are being displaced in some communities but coexist with Azerbaijani in others. Factors contributing to these differences include isolation, ethnic diversity, and economic opportunity. One other factor contributing to displacement is a desire to see children excel in school. This could well be the most important factor breaking transmission from one generation to the next. In light of this, it is important to document the language and culture while they are vital.
Issues in Sign Language Translation, with Special Reference to Bible Translation
(19 pages, 197 Kb)
Sign Language (SL) translation is a field of growing interest to major groups involved in translation, but many SL translation projects are encountering difficulties. In examining these, I argue that the Deaf community occupies a unique sociolinguistic context as it relates to translation, and that this makes Deaf ownership of translation projects and training of Deaf people a high priority. I then look at three other salient issues in SL translation: personnel, exegesis, and the question of signing style, offering tentative solutions. In addition, I suggest that projects might benefit from: 1) engaging in discourse studies early in the SL translation process, 2) a single-line approach to glossing that works well with analytical software, 3) maintaining a pure sign language environment, and 4) implementing effective comprehension testing methods.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Homeschoolers
Elizabeth S. Parks
(47 pages, 726 Kb)
Research on the education of deaf and hard of hearing students has largely ignored homeschooling as an option that parents are choosing, yet thousands of parents across America are pulling their children from more traditional school placements to educate their children at home. This is a pilot study of 21 parents, investigating through questionnaires their backgrounds, motivations for homeschooling, methods of constructing their school environment, communication preferences, and the socialization that occurs for their children. Results show that while homeschooler demographics and approaches vary, there are similarities among their motivations and approaches to providing their children with socialization and interaction with deaf and hard of hearing adults. It also points out that, because of the diversity of approaches used, homeschooling can be both beneficial and detrimental to deaf and hard of hearing children. This research fills in gaps of understanding both in the homeschooling movement and in deaf education, provides a glimpse into the deaf experience that has not yet been investigated, and suggests possible directions of future research.