Morehead (Nen/Kómnzo)


Overall, our goal is to compile as complete and rounded a corpus of Nen and Kómnzo as can be achieved in a three-year project, starting from close to zero in terms of existing materials, and capturing the most interesting and revealing aspects of the cultures of their speakers. We will also gather more limited data on two Nens neighbours the closely related Nambu (as Portugues to Spanish) and the unrelated Idi (as Basque to Spanish), to get a focused areal perspective and also to help with the sociophonetic study outlined below.

We will adopt what might be called the emerging DoBeS standard as our basic minimum: high-quality born-digital audio and video-recordings, with relevant metadata, carefully transcribed using ELAN. For plant species we will be employing PNG botanist Kipiro Damas to get accurate voucher identifications, and for bird species we will be drawing on the knowledge of ethnobiologist Christopher Healey, so as to document knowledge of and interactions with birds in natural settings, and obtain reactions to recordings of bird calls which can generally give very accu- rate identification. Phonetician Julia Colleen Miller will gather top-quality in-field data for a comprehensive set of phonetic data in Nen and Kómnzo, as well as from Nens immediate neighbours, Nambu and Idi language, with each of which it is in intensive contact.

Nick Evans and Jimmy Nébni carve the latest count into the dictionary pole in front of the language center in Bimadbn

Christopher Healey carefully watches the birds

Showing pictures

Sorting plant vouchers with Kipiro Damas

Pressing plant vouchers with Kipiro Damas

Jimmy Nébni explains about the details of Yam cultivation

Julia Colleen Miller armed with a shot-gun microphone

Nakre Abia examines the Kómnzo dictionary

Lucy and Abia Bai sorting the tubers in their yam storage house

Christian Döhler notes down some bird names given by Abia Bai