Native speakers of Micronesian languages sought


On July 20 to 31, Dr. Thomas Stolz of the University of Bremen in Germany will be visiting Saipan to conduct a study on how world languages use the English verb “belong.”

Stolz is seeking the help of the community and is in need of native speakers of all the Micronesian languages.

The participants for this study must be a native speaker of one of the following languages: Chamorro, Carolinian, Palauan, Chukeese, Korsrae, Pohnpeian, Karibati, Yapese, and Marshalese.

There are two parts to the study and each part will take about an hour. 

For Part 1, participants will be asked to translate a short story (one page) in English into a native language. The story should be translated using natural language with no need to reproduce the story in English word-by-word.

The second part is the speaking portion. There will be a questionnaire to be translated from English into a native language. For this segment the speakers will be filmed/recorded; however, if the speaker does not want to be recorded and/or filmed, they can choose not to be.

Stolz is interested in the ways and means in which languages express notions of possession (having, owning, possessing and belonging) in other parts of the world that he believes have not been studied sufficiently. Stolz wants to involve as many languages as possible from outside Europe to rectify the image linguists tend to have of the system of possession in human languages.

To be a participant in this study, contact the Northern Marianas Humanities Council at 235-4785. (PR)

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