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Title: Speech community-based documentation, description, and revitalization : Kari'nja in Konomerume
Authors: Yamada, Racquel-Maria
Keywords: American Indigenous Languages (Southern)
Ge-Pano-Carib Languages
Kari'nja - Grammar
Language Revitalization
Language Teaching
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: University of Oregon
Abstract: Since 2005, I have been working with members of the Kari'nja community of Konomerume, Suriname to document, describe, preserve, and revitalize their heritage language, the Aretyry dialect of Kari'nja (Cariban family). Simultaneously, I have worked to develop, pilot, and articulate a model of field research that depends on participation from speech community members. This dissertation combines exposition of this model of field research with presentation of a large body of the results from the application of that new model. Ethnically Kari'nja, Konomerume community members have witnessed a decline in language use in recent generations. Although I work primarily with members of the Konomerume community, a village on the banks of the Wajambo River in Suriname, in recent years, I have expanded my work to include two other communities in the region, Corneliskondre and Kalebas Kreek. My work with Kari'nja community members concerns four broad, interrelated areas of endangered languages research, each described in a section of the dissertation. Following Chapter 1, which provides an orientation to the dissertation as a whole, Chapter 2 reviews strengths and problems with prior models of fieldwork, then proposes a new model of fieldwork with members of Indigenous communities. Chapter 3 demonstrates some of the linguistic results of our work together in Konomerume, offering a more pedagogical overview of some aspects of Kari 'nja grammar followed by more academic descriptions of nonverbal predication and an innovative main clause progressive construction. Chapter 4 addresses how documentation can be combined with applied linguistics to support revitalization through formal language teaching. Finally, Chapter 5 describes the documentary corpus that is found in the appendices, explaining procedural steps used in creating the corpus and outlining the actual documentary products that we have produced. The Appendices are the concrete representation of the body of collaborative work that the Kari'nja community and I have done together. They include DVD videos, a substantial collection of transcribed, translated, and grammatically annotated texts in multiple genres, a dictionary, a pedagogical grammar sketch, and a curriculum guide for formal teaching of introductory Kari'nja.
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