Our upper-level linguistics majors enjoyed a special celebration to mark the end of their Field Methods capstone course, as well as their time studying linguistics here at UW-Madison.
The focus language this year was Sundanese, a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on the island of Java in Indonesia.
The Sundanese language consultant, Priza Marendraputra, kindly brought his family to campus to participate in the celebration, which included Sundanese song, a beautiful Sundanese dance by Priza’s wife Irma, and everyone’s names written in old Sundanese script.
In the Field Methods course, students work directly with a native speaker consultant of an under-studied or under-documented language.
This unique hands-on course allows students to synthesize their linguistic training at UW by eliciting and analyzing primary linguistic data from a native speaker of a language they are unfamiliar with.
The course was taught this year by Professor Monica Macaulay, who has extensive experience with field work in several Native American languages, and is currently Vice President of the Endangered Language Fund.