Monday, January 30, 2006

10 things to do (paca)

This sounds like a meme, but I'm actually making it up myself.

Somethings I would do if I had more time:

1) Spend more time with just N. We have a lot of N, B, and me time, but that's different than just N and me.
2) Actually play those musical instruments that I keep carrying around from state to state.
3) Do some more writing for fun.
4) I am sooo not taking advantage of Hawaii. I want to be a good swimmer instead of a bad one. And then after that maybe a little surfing. I'd also love to be part of an outrigger canoe team.
5) Learn Tahitian / Hawaiian drumming.
6) Take a small job somewhere with fun people to earn a little extra cash.
7) Make friends and go out with them. My life is family time and work time. Even though those are the two most important things to me, it would be nice to hang out with friends some. I think N feels the same.
8) Do something spiritual. Probably experiential. I read enough. Time to do.
9) Lay about the house doing nothing and not feeling guilty. Maybe play a computer game. I haven't played a game on the computer in a couple years. Have I, N?
10) Lay on a bed with headphones on, listening to something great.

Some things I will actually do in the next couple of days.

1) Finish reading "Probabilistic Phonotactics and Neighborhood Activation in Spoken Word Recognition".
2) Read Chapter 2 of Rene Kager's Optimality Theory.
3) Send emails with questions on both readings to the appropriate class lists.
4) Send emails to all authors of the Vol11, Number 3 issue of our journal saying whether or not their abstracts have been accepted.
5) Update the Status Report and send it to the Editors.
6) Send emails to all the reviewers who haven't bothered to reply to us yet.
7) I think I will be cooking Mandoo this evening, which are Korean dumplings. (Think Chinese Potstickers.)
8) Probably go on a walk with N and B through Waikiki. This could be an exercise walk or just a get out of the house walk.
9) Read through parts of Elizabeth Selkirk's Phonology and Syntax: The Relation between Sound and Structure.
10) Perhaps hack through some speech samples of the language Mortlockese that we are researching in Field Methods. Do some basic acoustic analysis of the geminate consonants and their impact on adjacent vowels.

People might be curious what a geminate consonant is. Geminates are consonants that are twice as long as non-geminates. English doesn't really have them, but lots and lots of languages do. So the Japanese word for Japan is "Nippon". The P in the middle is a geminate. To say it correctly, you go "nip....(hold it, hold it) pon". If you just say "nippon" with no holding, you've said something else. English does have these, kind of, but they are called false geminates. Imagine that you were trying to say "carpool" and "carp pool" to someone who isn't undertanding. To distinguish, people often hold the p extra long in the second. Now Mortlockese doesn't just have these consonants in the middle like easy old Japanese. They also have them at the beginning and end of words. So "po" and "ppo" are different words, as might be "ap" and "app". It's really hard to hear, and that is part of the point of the acoustic analysis.

What the heck is Mortlockese you ask? It is a language spoken in the Mortlocks, a group of atolls in Chuuk state in the Federated States of Micronesia. Where the heck are the Federated States of Micronesia? Well, Micronesia is one of the major areas in the Pacific. You have Polynesia, which includes Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii, and, yes, New Zealand. The Maori people of New Zealand, the first migrants there, are Polynesian and their language is closely connected to Hawaiian and Tahitian. Then you have Melanesia, which is a large area sort of extending out east into the Pacific from Papua New Guinea. Where the heck is Papua New Guinea? OK, you've got Australia and..., oh, just get a map.

Finally, you have Micronesia, which is north and east of Melanesia. Saipan and Guam are in Micronesia. It also includes the nation, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marianas Islands, and the Gilbert Islands. It's a series of a couple thousand tiny islands, hence the name Micronesia, extending over a couple thousand miles. If you add all of them together, Hawaii is still bigger in land mass. The Bikini Atoll, where we did nuclear testing in the 50s, is in Micronesia. A major claim to fame of Chuuk state is that during WWII, the Japanese stationed most of their Pacific fleet in Chuuk. The U.S. successfully trapped the fleet there and sank it with air bombing. Over 50 battleships still sit at the bottom of Chuuk Lagoon today, some of which are so close to the surface that you can snorkel them.

2 comments:

-E said...

my knowledge of linguistics is limited to one liguistic anthropology class and what i picked up from my hebrew teacher who was a polyglot (i think he knew like 17 languages).
i think illegal may be a geminate consonant. and colleen, come to think of it... although i cannot think of any other examples that don't involve the letter l.

Sammy Jankis said...

Oooh, I'd really like to snorkel sunken battle ships. That sounds awesome.