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Jason W. Lobel
University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu, HI 96822-2247)
Documentation of Lolak, an Austronesian Language of Sulawesi, Indonesia

Fieldwork and research to document Lolak, a near-extinct Austronesian language spoken in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.

This project seeks to continue the PI's work documenting and preserving Lolak, a near-extinct Austronesian language spoken in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Once the majority language of the town of Lolak, the Lolak language has long been losing ground to not only the local lingua franca, Manado Malay, and the national language, Indonesian, but also to a constant in-flow of immigrants. This situation can only be expected to continue at an accelerated rate now that the district capital has been moved to the town of Lolak. The vast majority of Lolak speakers are over the age of 60, and the two oldest speakers (aged 75 and 80) have signed a letter expressing their desire for the PI's work on their language to continue, as have two local community leaders. Over the past ten years, the PI has made several trips to the town of Lolak to assess the competency of the remaining speakers, elicit wordlists and sentences, and build a lexical database. He has also made over twenty hours of archive-quality digital audio recordings of some of the most fluent remaining speakers, covering a wide range of subject matter. The main work to be performed during the fellowship period is: (1) to transcribe and translate the audio recordings; (2) to expand the lexical database with all of the new vocabulary found in the transcribed recordings; and (3) to complete three academic articles about typologically rare linguistic features found in Lolak. Two extended trips totaling ten months will be made to Lolak town, separated by a two-month stay at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, in the Department of Linguistics, where the PI has access to the university's expansive library with one of the world's most comprehensive collections of materials on the Asia-Pacific region. (Edited by staff)

[Grant products]

Project fields:

Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 5/31/2019