Looking for a young linguist interested in Yapese

Jensen, John T j.jensen at AUCKLAND.AC.NZ
Tue Mar 22 00:18:00 UTC 2011

I worked on the Yapese language from 1966 through 1984, both with informants and in Yap.  From 1984 to the present, I have been employed in computer support and have done no significant study of the language during that time.  I am now 68 years old, must continue to work in my computer job, have no informant available, and cannot expect to do any further linguistic research.

I have two concerns in writing this.

First, I have a significant body of data - a dictionary with definitions in Yapese as well as English, which adds considerably to the "Yapese-English Dictionary" which I, with the help of John Iou and Raphael Defeg, published in 1977, and a number of Yapese texts which were produced for use in the Yapese school system.

Second, I am convinced that the phonological analysis, which I worked with during the years 1976-84 when I lived in Yap working for the Education Department, is flawed in important ways.

I am seeking a young linguist who would be interested in continuing the Yapese work I began and left unfinished.  I would be happy to turn over to such a person my data, as well as to discuss the concerns I have about the Yapese phonology.  In order to make progress, the linguist would need to have access to a Yapese informant - ideally, in fact, the linguist would work in Yap itself.  The spelling of items in the database I have is unreliable, in part due to the very fact that the orthography used is based on an analysis of the sound system of the language that is over-specified.  The Yapese writers were forced to make phonological decisions that did not match their intuitions.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in this work, please contact me at my e-mail address:

j.jensen at auckland.ac.nz<mailto:j.jensen at auckland.ac.nz>

John Thayer Jensen,

System Administrator

Digital Services

The University of Auckland Business School

Room 040, 12 Grafton Road

voice: +64 9 373-7599 ext 87543

DDI: +64 9 923-7543

FAX: +64 9 373-7696

mobile: +64 21 85-1904

quickdial: 60001


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