Today we only had our morning session of elicitation as in the afternoon many UERR students and professors took part in the country-wide protests against the ministry of education’s budget cut on education, which affected federal universities in particular.
Our morning session, however, went as usual and each student worked with their respective languages and consultants. After the first day of work, we are now starting to get more familiar with doing elicitation as well as with the language. Personally, I am having much fun working out the grammatical patterns in Ye’kwana as well as learning how to pronounce and write words in the language. The consultants also seemed to be enjoying the process and even taught us some greetings in their languages.
With the extra time from not having the afternoon session, we took the rest of the day to relax at our hostel, but we also worked on organizing the data collected today and on preparations for the following day.
Today was the first day of elicitations for our group. Each of us have been assigned a specific Brazilian Indigenous language, Macuxi for Greg, Ye’kwana for Guilherme and Taurepang for me (Octavia). In the morning, Guilherme and I worked alongside Suzi on Taurepang. The Taurepang consultant was Diene, a Taurepang woman who attends the Federal University of Roraima. We were also accompanied by Isabella’s student Vitória during this session. We began with translating a simple noun list and then moved onto adjectives and the different instances they could be used. Diene was very knowledgeable and provided us with detailed answers. Greg and Isabella worked with Olendina on Macuxi with focus on translating nouns and verbs, and verb paradigms. Isabella’s students accompanied the session as well. After our first session, we broke for lunch at the student café.
In the afternoon we continued with our elicitation session, Guilherme and I continued to work alongside Suzi on Taurepang with Diene for the first hour. In the second hour, the Ye’kwana consultant Josemar arrived. Guilherme and Isabella worked together on translations of adjectival constructions in Ye’kwana for the rest of the afternoon. Greg continued working on Macuxi but with a new consultant: França. Although a new experience for us all, with different challenges such as language barriers or lack of experience, it was a great first day. A great deal of data was collected, and personally it feels as though I am piecing together a puzzle with each sentence.
Later in the evening, we went to a restaurant called Tapiocaria Cangaço that served local food such as tapioca (similar to crepes but with a different texture), cuscuz, and various juices made of local fruit such as soursop and cashew. The restaurant had a northeast theme throughout with different photos and art representing this region of Brazil. The food was excellent, and no one had any complaints. It was a great look into local cuisine and had amazing ambiance.
Overall it was a jam-packed day with new and exciting experiences throughout!
And so it begins! The UofT group – Suzi Lima, Greg Antono, Guilherme Teruya, Octavia Andrade-Dixon – met with professor Isabella Coutinho (State University of Roraima) who took the group to a quick tour on campus. During the tour, we met with Professor Carlos Borges (Pró-Reitor de Pesquisa/UERR) and Professor Rildo Dias (Diretor de Pós-Graduação/UERR).
After lunch, we met for the first class about fieldwork methodology.
Today we concluded our (intensive) course on fieldwork methods based on Brazilian languages. I would like to take a moment to say that this was a rewarding experience for me, as an instructor, for two reasons. First, because of the participation of four women who are leading research on indigenous languages and cultures to new and interesting directions and who are an example for other women: Anari (speaker of Patxohã), Francy (speaker of Nheengatu), Nelly (speaker of Marubo) and Sandra (speaker of Guarani Ñandeva). I was very honored to be able to work with them and learn more about them and their research. Second, because of our students from Canada (Cal, Karoline, Natália, Tiffany, Vidhya) as well as my colleague Ivona and our teaching assistant Ohanna. This was the first fieldwork experience of the students and I was glad to be able to share their excitement, their engagement and their interest during the whole course. I am grateful to all people who participated in this course. I would also like to thank the Museu do Índio and the UofT International Program for making this course possible. Obrigada!
Hoje concluímos nosso curso (intensivo) sobre métodos de trabalho de campo a partir de línguas indígenas brasileiras. Gostaria de tomar um momento para dizer que esta foi uma experiência gratificante para mim, como professora responsável pelo curso, principalmente por dois motivos. Primeiro, por causa da participação de quatro mulheres que estão desenvolvendo excelentes pesquisas na área de línguas e culturas indígenas e que estão sendo um exemplo para outras mulheres: Anari (falante de Patxohã), Francy (falante de Nheengatu), Nelly (falante de Marubo) e Sandra (falante de Guarani Ñandeva). Fiquei muito honrada em poder trabalhar com elas e aprender mais sobre elas e suas pesquisas. Em segundo lugar, por causa dos nossos alunos do Canadá (Cal, Karoline, Natália, Tiffany, Vidhya) assim como por causa da minha colega Ivona e da assistente do curso Ohanna. Para todos os alunos presentes, esta foi a primeira experiência como pesquisadores de campo e eu fiquei feliz em ver a sua alegria, engajamento e interesse durante toda a semana. Agradeço a todas as pessoas que participaram deste curso, o Museu do Índio por todo o apoio logístico e gentileza, e o Programa Internacional UofT para tornar possível este curso. Obrigada!