Saturday, October 12, 2019

Training Program: Linguistic Fieldwork on the Khoisan Languages of Botswana

Training Program: Linguistic Fieldwork on the Khoisan Languages of Botswana
(Supported in part by NSF Award BCS-1760980)

University or Organization: New York University
Department: Department of Linguistics
Linguistic Field: Language Documentation and Linguistic Fieldwork
Duration: June 1 to July 12, 2020 (six weeks)
Compensation: Stipend $3,000USD + room/board and travel expenses
Internship Location: Rural Botswana
Minimum Education Level: Advanced Undergraduate, Beginning Graduate 

This project aims to bring advanced undergraduates (juniors or seniors) and beginning (first-year) graduate students from US institutions to Botswana in order to do linguistic fieldwork on Cua, a Khoisan language spoken in southeastern Botswana. The project is aimed at students who are seriously considering doing graduate work involving linguistic fieldwork and language documentation.

The program starts on June 1, 2020 (students should arrive on May 30 or May 31). After a one-day orientation in Gaborone, we will move to a rural village to do linguistic fieldwork on Cua. The fieldwork will include, but is not limited to, lexical and syntactic elicitation, recording audio and video of oral texts, and transcribing, glossing and translating the oral texts using FLEx and ELAN.

Our team will include Chris Collins (PI, NYU), Zach Wellstood (RA, graduate student at Berkeley), Andy Chebanne (local collaborator, University of Botswana), two translators, four students from American institutions and Cua language consultants.

The deadline for applications is December 15, 2019. All applications should be sent to Chris Collins ( (using subject line: Botswana Fieldwork Application). In all cases, the candidates will submit a CV, a copy of their academic transcript (which may be unofficial), two letters of recommendation (sent directly by the recommenders to Chris Collins) and a statement of interest in the project (4 to 5 double spaced pages). Candidates may optionally send a sample of their written work as well. On the basis of these documents, the candidates will be selected for interview by Skype. Candidates will be notified by January 15, 2020 of the final admissions decisions.

Candidates are required to have basic training in linguistics, including coursework in phonology and syntax. They will need to demonstrate (through coursework or other projects) a high degree of proficiency in basic phonetic transcription. Preference will be given to those interested in continuing on to do linguistic fieldwork in graduate school. Preference will also be given to qualified minority students.

Students must be enrolled in a degree program at a US college or university. In addition, undergrads must be US citizens or permanent residents.

Application Deadline: December 15, 2019.

Contact Information: 
Prof. Chris Collins

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