Workshop on Missionary grammars: Exploring older linguistics texts

The Department of Linguistics at SOAS, University of London, is running a workshop on ‘missionary grammars: exploring older linguistics texts’ on 20 February 2017 from 1pm to 5pm in Brunei Gallery room B204. The workshop is being organised by Dr Candide Simard and will include presentations and hands on discussions by visiting Erasmus scholar, Dr Cristina Muru (University of Tuscia, Italy) and SOAS staff.

It is not unusual for researchers working on language documentation and description to encounter older linguistic texts (colonial, postcolonial, missionary and non-missionary, word lists of travelers and historians). This workshop aims at exploring older texts, often written by missionaries: the insights to be gained from their descriptions of idiosyncratic features of the languages, the challenges they may have faced in trying to adapt known paradigms, as well as the challenges of comprehending indigenous cultures through their languages.

The workshop will provide an accessible forum for people to come together and share their diverse perspectives, practices and research; it will take the form of a ‘show and tell’, where participants will bring materials that will be analysed and discussed, raising issues from deciphering handwriting, the meta-language used for language description, and questions of interpretation.

Further details and programme can be found here.

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