Meet Our Postdoctoral Researchers Series

Presentations and chat with two of our postdoctoral researchers in Language and Linguistics

  • Thu 28 Apr 22

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Online

    Zoom Meeting ID: 927 1168 7678 Password: 985166

  • Event speaker

    Savio Meyase and Stephen Nichols

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Language and Linguistics, Department of

  • Contact details

    Karen Roehr-Brackin

Please join us for brief presentations and an informal chat to get to know Savio Meyase and Stephen Nichols, two of our postdoctoral researchers who are working with Yuni Kim on the phonetics and phonology of understudied languages. Undergraduate students are especially welcome!

Savio Meyase (PhD Leipzig, 2020), a Newton International Fellow, will talk about his project, "Documentation of complex tone systems in endangered tribal languages of Nagaland, Northeast India." Tenyi languages (Tibeto-Burman) are spoken in Nagaland and Manipur in the far eastern end of the Himalayas in India bordering Myanmar. They show typologically rare tone inventories by having more than three lexical tones. The rarity is even more so because all these tones are almost all level tones. So far, extended work has only been done on the central varieties of Tenyidie (Angami) and only broad sketches of the grammar of a couple of other languages are available. Tenyidie (Angami) also shows linguistically informing phenomena displaying a consistent tone polarity pattern and providing evidence for sub-tonal features. Whether these properties are displayed in the other Tenyi languages is yet to be seen. A major challenge to the study of these languages is the dearth of any documentation of these tribal languages, which is a result of major economic, geographical, and political isolation. The current study is aimed at addressing this lack of data and eventually bringing in more informed ideas to the tonal study of these sub-family and of complex tones in general.

Stephen Nichols (PhD Manchester, 2021) wrote his PhD comparing vowel harmony processes across several Bantu languages. He is interested in the phonetics-phonology interface and sound change, and has also worked on Turkish, Manchester English, Albanian, and other languages. With Yuni, he is developing methods to use documentary corpus data for phonetic studies of two Mesoamerican languages, Huave and Amuzgo.

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