UChicago Researchers Discover Various Locations: From Israeli Excavations to Greenland Villages

A brand new language has been quickly spreading, as noticed by linguist Nicholas Grenoble. The inflow of English has been noticeable, with current immigrants and non permanent employees primarily utilizing the language. Moreover, younger persons are studying English by way of numerous mediums corresponding to films, video video games, social media, and YouTube. Grenoble’s analysis goals to know the dynamics of this case each linguistically and sociolinguistically. Particularly, he desires to know who speaks which language, when, and with whom. He’s additionally serious about how Greenlanders are studying English and the way it impacts their data and use of their mom tongue, Kalaallisut.

To assemble data and reply these questions, Grenoble and mission postdoc Jessica Kantarovich carried out observations in Nuuk, Greenland. One specific space of curiosity for them was the stories of Kalaallisut getting shorter. Kalaallisut is a polysynthetic language, the place suffixes tackle the position of phrases in languages like English. Grenoble offers an instance, explaining that the phrase “qujanaq” means “thanks.” By including the suffix “-rsuaq,” which means “massive,” the phrase turns into “qujanarsuaq,” which interprets to “massive thanks” or “thanks very a lot.” The researchers carried out interviews in Kalaallisut to find out if and the way phrases had been getting shorter. Additionally they studied the on a regular basis use of the language.

Of their analysis, Grenoble and Kantarovich additionally have interaction in participant-observation work. They spend time in public locations, corresponding to shops and eating places, to look at the language utilization. They take note of who’s utilizing which language in informal and temporary interactions. One specific focus for the students is the idea of shifting audio system, which refers to younger individuals of their homeland who cease studying their mother and father’ minority language and shift to the bulk language. This phenomenon is of nice curiosity to Grenoble and his group.

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