March 11, 2019

Functional Word Lists for Indigenous Languages of the South Pacific: QUOTA Scholarship

Congratulations Dr Suzanne Hopf who has just received a QUOTA South Pacific Area Scholarship for Work in the Fields of Speech and Hearing. Her research grant is titled "Functional Word Lists for Indigenous Languages of the South Pacific"
Here is the abstract:
Communication specialists rely on data that document children’s typical speech and language development when diagnosing and treating speech and language disorders in children. In many South Pacific nations there are no recognised communication specialists or recognised tools to assist with this process (e.g., Fiji – see Hopf, 2013; 2017). Thus, suspected diagnoses are mostly based on implicit language knowledge within communities. Tools that can assist with early diagnosis and treatment of communication disability are needed to support communication specialists working with children from language groups other than their own. In alignment with the aims of the 2019 UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019), this ambitious project will bring together speakers of Pacific Islands indigenous languages, and communication specialists from around the world, to create consensus functional word lists for indigenous languages of the South Pacific nations of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu. Significantly, this project will capitalise on a network of communication specialists who will work together beyond the stated languages to continue to document functional word lists in all of the indigenous and immigrant languages of the South Pacific. These word lists will be invaluable for communication specialists working both within and outside the South Pacific with people with communication disability who speak these languages.