ALT Lab welcomes academic visitors Dr. Arok Wolvengrey & Dr. Jean Okimāsis

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dr. Arok Wolvengrey and Dr. Jean Okimāsis, First Nations University of Canada, Regina (SK), were our guests at the University of Alberta.

Jean Okimāsis shared in the Language Documentation and Research Cluster (LDRC) seminar her experiences in developing Cree language materials and programs at SIFC/First Nations University.

Arok Wolvengrey also gave a talk in the Colloquium Series of the Department of Linguistics:

Mapping the Cree Language: Dictionary, Atlas and Word Order Templates

This talk will survey some of the author’s ongoing research projects involving nēhiyawēwin, the (Plains) Cree language.  First, the Online Cree Dictionary as it currently stands will be briefly introduced, followed by a critical analysis of its shortcomings and requirements for future upgrades.  Second, what began as the Cree-Innu Linguistic Atlas and is evolving into the Algonquian Linguistic Atlas will be introduced, again highlighting current and future dimensions of the project.  Finally, a new approach to word order, as espoused in Functional Discourse Grammar, will be introduced with some initial applications to Plains Cree.  Although Cree has sometimes been described as a “free word order” language, this merely indicates that past researchers were often at a loss for the motivating factors behind word order variation in Cree, which differs so much from English.