Monday, December 2, 2019

Kua Fieldwork 2019-12-02: Goals

Starting today, Monday December 2 2019, I am working with two Kua consultants (one male, one female) in Gaborone. They are siblings, call them OG (male) and TG (female). We will work for at least one week, maybe two depending on their schedules. Most of our work will focus on filling out the dictionary in various ways. Below are my specific goals for the work during this session. If I can accomplish most of these goals, I will be satisfied.

Elicit missing Setswana glosses for Kua words.

Fill in the tonal contour field for all Kua words.

Get recordings for TG for whole lexicon.

Currently I have recordings for all lexical items for OG. I would like to get recordings of multiple speakers, at least one male and at least one female, for each word in the lexicon.

Establish genders for all inanimate nouns.

Nouns in Kua are optionally marked with gender (with the exception of proper nouns, which have obligatory gender marking). I have not been very conscientious about eliciting grammatical gender. The practical consequence of this is that I have little data for generalizations about gender marking.

Resolve CHECKs

For the most part, I can do lexical elicitation without a translator, even though my Setswana is still rudimentary. But for certain issues, I need a Setswana translator. I mark those issues as CHECK in the lexicon and resolve them when a translator is available.

Lexical elicitation.

Right now, I have 1145 lexical entries. As a modest goal, I would like to get to 1200 during this session. However, I do not want lexical elicitation to be my main goal this session. Rather, my main goal is to fill in various gaps in the dictionary.

Work through Sasi dictionary

One way to elicit further words is to use the Sasi dictionary and make sure we have the same concepts in the Kua dictionary. This will ultimately allow a comparison of Sasi (Northern Khoisan) with Kua/Cua (Central Khoisan), and help to determine what is borrowed vocabulary in Sasi and what is not.

Verify and record new words

Another way of eliciting new words is to go over all the existing vocabulary with TG, who often offers new words (synonyms) that I have not recorded before. Then, I need to verify and record these new words with OG.

Resolve inconsistencies in transcription in dictionary.

This includes doublets (words that are identical, but which have slightly different inconsistent transcriptions), inconsistencies in the transcription of vowel sequences, inconsistencies in the transcription of tone (e.g., there should be LM, but not LH contours), inconsistencies in the transcription of the glottal stop, etc.

Finish transcribing short oral text (in ELAN and FLEx) by TG.

I have recorded a number of oral texts with OG, but only one with TG. I now need to finish transcribing it.

Reread entire grammatical sketch, correcting small errors.

The grammatical sketch is basically ready for publication, and has been for three years. I really want to get it published by the end of this year. It is almost ready for the world. I need to overcome inertia and make the final push to get it out the door.

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