The long and short of it
Vowel length, placenames, and ecolinguistics
Placenames (toponyms) give insight into relationships involving people, place, and language. An exemplary placename derived from long-term engagement within the sensitive linguistic ecology of Norfolk Island in the South Pacific is used to detail how a fusing of linguistic analysis, words, and cultural memory is beneficial for what constitutes an ecolinguistic fieldwork methodology. Differences between the ethnographic method and an ecolinguistic fieldwork methodology are presented. This enduring and keyed-in commitment with Norfolk Island’s social and natural surroundings offers significant perceptiveness into and suggestions about how prolonged ecolinguistic work can be beneficial to language documentation projects, particular those incorporating lexical (word) and semantic (memory) description.
Keywords: cultural memory, ethnography, fieldwork, the Norfolk Island language, phonology, toponymy
Published online: 12 June 2019
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