- We read and translated the first 2 pages of the textbook.
Welcome to Sheffner’s 2012 Research in English
Here is the textbook we will be using:
And here is the Japanese translation, which may be useful:
This semester, students will write more in English than in the first semester.
Example summary of paragraph 1:
“In the country inns of a small corner of northern Germany, in the spur of land connecting Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark, you can sometimes hear people talking in what sounds eerily like a lost dialect of English.”
- “In the country(side) of north Germany, you can hear people talking in what sounds like a dialect of English.”
- “In the country(side) of north Germany, there are some people who speak a dialect that sounds like English.”
- “In the country(side) of north Germany, there are people who speak a language that is very similar to/like English.”
Who will speak Iniai in 2050? Or Faiwol? Moskona? Wahgi? Probably no-one, as the languages of New Guinea — the world’s greatest linguistic reservoir — are disappearing in a tide of indifference.
|A Papuan tribesman participates in the Lake Sentani festival in the Jayapura district of the eastern Indonesian province of Papua. The island of New Guinea that encompasses Papua New Guinea and Indonesian Papua is a vast reservoir of languages in a world where languages of various tribal groups are disappearing quietly, according to anthropologists [Credit: AFP]
New Guinea is home to more than 1,000 languages — around 800 in Papua New Guinea and 200 in Indonesian Papua — but most have fewer than 1,000 speakers, often centred around a village or cluster of hamlets.
Some 80 percent of New Guinea’s people live in rural areas and many tribes, especially in the isolated mountains, have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world.
The most widely-spoken language is Enga, with around 200,000 speakers in the highlands of central PNG, followed by Melpa and Huli.
“Every time someone dies, a little part of the language dies too because only the oldest people still use it,” said Nico, the curator of Cendrawasih University’s museum.
“In towns but also eventually in the forest, Indonesian has become the main language for people under 40. Traditional languages are reserved for celebrations and festivals,” said Habel M. Suwae, the regent of Jayapura district.
In PNG, under the influence of nearby Australia, English has spread, though it has found it hard to penetrate some tribes, particularly those in the isolated highlands.
The authorities are sometimes accused of inaction or even favouring the official language to better integrate the population, particularly in Indonesian Papua.
Despite his pessimism about the future, Wally the anthropologist believes art and culture can stop Papuan languages being forgotten.
Papuans love to sing and celebrate and they must do these things in their traditional languages, Wally says — this way young people “will want to discover the language to understand the meaning of the songs”.
Oxford University has launched a race against the clock to record Emma, aged 85, Enos, 60, and Anna, also 60, who are the three last remaining Papuans who speak Dusner.
More than 200 languages have become extinct around the world over the last three generations and 2,500 others are under threat,
Today, we had a presentation from Ms. Aoki about Universal Grammar (普遍文法), a theory of grammar and language acquisition developed by Noam Chomsky (ノーム・チョムスキー). You can read a short introduction to Universal Grammar (普遍文法) in Japanese on Wikipedia here.
After the presentation, I mentioned an exhibition in Germany which shows the faces of various human ancestors. You can see a slideshow here: Faces of our Ancestors.
We read more of chapter 3, pages 37-39.
Final projects. Students will give a final presentation and also hand in a written paper on July 29th (or earlier). Choose ONE from the list of topics below (if you want to do something that is not on the list, please email me or talk to me in class). You can use Powerpoint, or make a poster or make handouts. The presentation should be about 10-12 minutes. The written paper should be about 4 pages of A4 (double-spaced, with a reference list 参照文献).
Who is the project for? For yourself, for your classmates, and for the students who will take this course next year. Make something that would be useful for them.
We read and summarized chapter 3, pages 35-37.
Today we finished chapter 2. Yay!
Some key points about today’s class:
Read chapter 3. Ms. Aoki will prepare pages 35-36. Ms. Watanabe will prepare pages 36-37.