“Beyond borrowing: Lexical interactions between Englishes and Asian
languages”, with Dr. Danica Salazar, World English Editor, Oxford English Dictionary,
and Associate Professor Jieun Kiaer, University of Oxford. We are looking at
the bidirectional influences on languages. How Asian languages have influenced
the English language lexicons and vice versa in an increasingly multilingual
and multicultural society.
“Archaeological linguistics and the prehistory of Northeast
India: reconstructing the past through ancient technologies and practices, and
correlating the results with migration histories” (MOE2016-T1-001-220)
project will investigate and document lexicons and technologies relating to
hunting and gathering, swidden agriculture and cultivation, metalworking, clay
pot-making, and weaving in three linguistic communities of Northeast India as
part of a larger dictionary-making project, and it will compare the findings
with technologies employed in other Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai and
Austroasiatic-speaking groups, the aim being to determine if cladistic linkages
to Southeast Asia and East Asia can be established. It is envisaged that the
findings of this research will lead to a better appreciation of the diffusion
of technology, the influence of language contact, and the pathways of
historical migrations that have resulted in the peopling of Northeast India and
Southeast Asia. In addition to the creation of three bilingual dictionaries, a
rich corpus of annotated audio-visual data will be archived so that it is
freely available for future research, thus making the output especially
valuable in the event that the languages of investigation cease to be spoken by
Alexander R. & Randy J. LaPolla
contact across the Indo-Myanmar-Southwestern China mountains: migration routes,
intercultural interactions, and linguistic outcomes” (Proposed
JSPS-NTU/NUS Joint Research Project for FY 2019). If funded, this will be a
joint project with members of the Research
Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of
Foreign Studies, the Keio Institute of Cultural
and Linguistic Studies, and the Graduate School of Language and Culture, Osaka
University, to attempt to use linguistic research methods as tools for
reconstructing the intangible past of the complex ethnolinguistic area just
south of the Himalayas in Northeast India, Myanmar, and Southwest China.
Francesco Perono Cacciafoco
How to Find the Way: Navigational Knowledge and Oral Tradition in the Context of Aboriginal Societies.
This Project is focused on the notion of traditional navigational knowledge among aboriginal and minority peoples. The approach is comparative, dealing with unrelated contexts from South-East Indonesia and South-West China. The Project is aimed at the documentation of possibly common patterns inherent in traditional navigational knowledge in societies where writing and technology are not yet widespread. Ancestral knowledge connected with the description and the perception of landscape by local people is preserved through the vocabulary of the languages spoken by local communities and in their stories. Often, place names and landscape names include the description of an orientation system based on the geo-morphological structure of the territory (position of hills and mountains, 'directions of trees' in connection with the directions of winds, 'movement' of water in river and streams, orientation of puddles and pools) and on the 'experience' of the movements of stars and constellations. Those toponyms and lexical 'landmarks' are, generally, connected with traditional atavistic stories describing the process of the 'making' of the names of the 'directions' (not properly the cardinal points) and the 'ideal map' of their territory developed by aboriginal people (a sort of 'landscape of the memory'). The Project aims at the development of a comparative dictionary of toponyms and landscape names connected with ancient traditional knowledge in oral word societies (or prevalently oral word societies) and at the safeguard and documentation of the intangible heritage of oral traditional stories that, sometimes, give origin to this specific lexicon and, sometimes, have been made-up to explain it.
“Singapore Comparative Literature Database”,
Co-PI – A/P Yow Chuen Hoe, Chinese programme (MOE Tier-1 grant Nov 2017 –
Oct 2020). Grant will be used to build a database, hold a workshop, and publish
a compendium on Singapore literature written in English, Chinese, and Malay.