We stayed in Milange for one week. While we were there we helped write up a phonological outline for the Emihavani/Malawi Lomwe language. It was so cool! The first three days we elicited and transcribed words to come up with a solid inventory we could analyze. Then we had just three days to run all of the cool linguistic programs I have newly installed on my computer and write everything up. The final product was 55 pages long and even included spectrograms for some funky words! I made the phone and phoneme charts and wrote the sections on ambiguous phones and loan word phonology. I feel like a real linguist!
This is the SIL office in Milange where the Shrums work on the Takwane project and where we did some of our work.
Maggie and I transcribing our little hearts out!Mihavani has quite a bit of retroflex and some fun prenasalization and labialization combinations. Even a little bit of breathy voice!
James, Supuni (Spooney), and Alfred, our three language consultants.
The last day Alfred held a “closing ceremony” of sorts for us to thank us for all of our work.It was really special to see how appreciative they were of having their language studied and written about.They even wrote us a poem in Mihavani (with a translation in English)!Our research was mainly to help them make orthography decisions.It was so cool to see someone deciding how to write their language for the first time!