Tid: Torsdag 16 februari 2017, kl 15:00-17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

In 2016 I was awarded a Sida-funded “Minor Field Studies” scholarship to collect data for a master’s thesis. I spent nine weeks (Nov 2016–Jan 2017) in Islamabad, Pakistan to gather information on the demonstrative system of an Indo-Aryan (so-called “Dardic”) language, Gawri. Gawri has been described as having a remarkably rich demonstrative system, with up to six discrete terms covering parameters of distance (near, far), visibility (visible, invisible) and contrastiveness (easily identifiable, not-so easily identifiable). Many neighboring languages in the mountainous north of Pakistan reportedly have three-term demonstrative systems with a near term, a far term and something like an invisible, absent or remote term depending on the analysis. However, some of these reports are inconsistent with one another, and the existing description of Gawri does not give a clear methodological account of how the analysis was made.

The purpose of my fieldwork was to elicit native speakers’ choices of demonstrative terms in an experimental setting, taking into account several variables, including distance, visual access, and difference between exophoric (situational/deictic) and endophoric (linguistic) reference. This was mainly done with Gawri, but I also gathered some comparative data from Shina, Palula, Khowar, and the national lingua franca Urdu.

In my presentation I intend to cover my methods and research efforts, take an early look at my data and suggest some tentative hypotheses, as well as share some personal reflections on fieldwork, cultural adaptation and practical issues.


Henrik Liljegren & Ljuba Veselinova