[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] Fundraising Campaign For Linguistic Research of Kuki-Chin Language

FKLinguista fklinguista at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 20:09:07 UTC 2015

  Tibeto-Burman Linguistics Listserv Members:

I recently have been accepted into the Master of Arts in Linguistics 
Program at Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand and will travel there 
in May to begin my coursework (more on this program here: 
http://ic.payap.ac.th/graduate/linguistics/about.php). This school 
focuses on Fieldwork and Language Description/Documentation, as opposed 
to other Graduate-level Linguistic programs that may focus on 
Linguistics solely at a theoretical level.  As it is best to begin the 
program with a thesis in mind, I've decided I would like to attempt to 
write a grammatical sketch of Sizang Chin 
(http://www.ethnologue.com/language/csy) as my M.A. thesis.  I have 
three years in the program to do so, but it is best to go in with a 
large corpus of data.  I've already begun the process.

I have a website/blog called /Sizangkam/ "The Sizang Language" 
(http://sizangkam.wordpress.com/) I originally created it as a small 
one-stop resource for finding materials about the Sizang language.  Once 
I learned that I was accepted to the Master of Arts in Linguistics 
program, however, I realized it could be so much more.  I've started 
small projects on the website, which can be found on the projects page 
(https://sizangkam.wordpress.com/projects/). Within these projects is 
one for recording small scripture passages from the Sizang Bible to be 
able to further assess the phonology of the language, "The Luce Project" 
where I digitally transcribe the field notes of Gordon H. Luce that 
pertain to the Sizang language, and others.  Most notably, however, is 
my lexicon project.  I plan to create an online Sizang dictionary which 
will be open-access and openly-editable (like Wikipedia).  To get that 
started, however, I'm still extracting data from various sources and 
searching for programmers to help provide a platform.  This is where 
part of my fundraising project kicks in:

In March, I plan to travel to Frederick and Laurel, Maryland.  These two 
cities have the highest concentration of Sizang speakers in the United 
States.  When there, I plan to do several things to help advance my 
corpus of linguistic data, including:

  * Word list recording
  * Audio recording of historical narratives and songs
  * Audio recording of conversation
  * Discuss language development and education with community leaders
  * (More possibilities still in discussion)

I hope to do these things with as many speakers as possible and with the 
assistance of community members.  Collecting words and recordings will 
also help with my dictionary project, as I can record example sentences 
and exact pronunciation of each word. Academically, I believe I can also 
learn a more about Sizang syntax, morphology, and phonology than what is 
already described in linguistic literature.

My 30-day campaign to raise $654 dollars (covering lodging and gasoline 
for the trip) through Experiment.com, a crowd-funding website geared 
toward academic research is almost over.  With 35 hours left, I would 
appreciate any amount of financial contribution.  Please support my 
project, or spread the word if anyone you know would be interested in 
supporting.  All raw data from the trip will be first uploaded to my 
website and hopefully later preserved in a linguistic online archive 
(such as ELAN, for example).

Thank you all and have a great day!

Tyler Davis
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