Ken Hale Lecture
We are proud to announce that the 2005 LSA Institute marks the inauguration of the Ken Hale Chair. We are overjoyed that Mary Laughren, David Nash and Jane Simpson are the first holders of the Chair.
Mary Laughren, University of Queensland
David Nash, Australian National University
Jane Simpson, University of Sydney
Sunday, July 10th
2:00-4:00 PM Talk, 32-123
4:00-5:30 PM Reception, 32-123
"Let it emerge": Ken Hale's approach to field linguistics
Ken Hale's fieldwork in Australia began in 1959, and established new standards in the documentation and analysis of indigenous languages and in building partnerships with their speakers. In this talk we examine the range of Hale's field methods, from his survey work to the detailed work on Warlpiri. The Warlpiri corpus illustrates ingenious techniques for eliciting grammatical information and documenting types of speech and ethnographic information, and speakers' meta-linguistic awareness of the language. Hale was also concerned to make his material accessible and usable, and to show how it casts light on human language. The grammatical and lexicographic understandings that Hale drew from his material have led on the one hand to better understanding of properties such as non-configurationality and ergativity cross-linguistically, and on the other to the production of better dictionaries of Australian languages. His recognition of the importance of language to speakers have led to Warlpiri bilingual education programs and efforts in language maintenance. We conclude by discussing the relation of Hale's work to new directions in field work, such as the documentation and analysis of gesture and of child language acquisition, and the computational processing of language material for analysis and presentation.