About

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Me in the field working with the champs of Gubam. That’s me behind the laptop.

Hiya, my name is Eri. I’m a PhD candidate in linguistics at college of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University. I’m part of a project called the Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity, and we’re asking the question “why are there more languages in some parts of the world than others?“. I’m the fieldworker who is studying a community in the Morehead Area of the South-Fly Region, Western Province, Papua New Guinea (it’s a mouthful, I know).

The blog title is my attempt at combining linguistic-y and Papua-y words into a snappy title.

To Yammer: /jæmə/ (verb): make a loud, repetitive noise. Talk volubly. (OED)

Also playing on this:

Yam: /jæːm/ (noun): The edible starchy tuber of a climbing plant, widely distributed in tropical and subtropical countries. (OED)

This blog is a place where I work through some of my linguistics and fieldwork questions that arise from being part of a slightly crazy (therefore fun!) project. Things I’ll cover will include but not be limited to:

  • Doing field work in Papua New Guinea
  • The Morehead Area of the South-Fly District etc. etc. of Papua New Guinea
  • Methods of data collection and analysis
  • Language vs dialect
  • Linguistic diversity
  • The role of theory in linguistic research

The articles in this blog are meant to be for a semi-popular audience. I want this blog to be popular enough that interested people without super terminology can enjoy it, but specialist enough that other linguists working on similar topics might find something new, or that other PhD students might find some useful pointers towards tools and discussions. (So yes, basically I’m writing to an audience that is me, but somewhere out there outside of me.)

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