due wednesday, january 23, 2002

LIN 5574 -Languages of the World
Assignment # 1 Guidelines
This is a very important assignment, because for this profile you will
have to select a language and assess the data that will be available to you not
only for Assignment # 1 but also for the further assignments that will allow you
to construct a complete profile of your language. Once you have turned in
Assignment # 1, you must continue with the same language throughout the
term; so be prudent in your selection.
Follow your interests in choosing a language, but do not choose a
language that will not have sufficient resources available to you during the
semester to provide a good language profile. You will need sources which
provide information on your language's phonological system, morphological
system (including case, number, agreement, tense/aspect, etc.), pronominal
system, and word order. You are encouraged to be adventurous in your choice
of language--e.g., choose an American Indian language, an African language, a
Polynesian language, or some other "exotic" language. Include as much of the
information below as your can; be as specific as possible. Do not simply
answer the questions one-by-one, but frame your answers in the form of a
report/ essay. (Reminder: All assignments must be neatly typed,
double-spaced, no exceptions.)
Restrictions on language selection
One of the purposes of the five assignments in this course is to expand
your language experience beyond the materials presented in this class and
beyond your other language experience; for this reason. several restrictions are
placed on the language selected for your project.
Do not select a language which is profiled in either of your textbooks
(Speakers or Status), or one which is a topic of a class reading.
Do not choose a language you have ever used to fu1flll any language
Do not choose a language you have ever studied, either formally or on your own.
Do not choose your native language
Do not choose any Indo-European language
Information to be included in Assignment # 1
1. Geographical context
Identify where the language is spoken (continent, country or countries,
region). Is there more than one geographically distinct population of speakers?
If so, which one will be your primary source of information? .
What are the main regional dialects of the language? Which will be your
primary source of information?
2. Historical context
How many speakers does the language have? How viable is the language?
Are most speakers monolingual? bilingual? Are only speakers of the
older generation monolingual?
What is the sociopolitical status of the language? Is it the/ an official
language of a country or region? Is it the/a language of instruction in the
school system? Does it have or lack social prestige?
What is the range of contexts when the language is used? Is it used for
formal speeches? Is it used only among friends or within the family?
3. Literary context
Is the language a written language? If so, what kind of writing system is
used? Give examples.
Is there an established body of literature in the language? If so, when
did the literature begin? What are considered the major works in that
4. Sources
A. Library -List all library sources that you think you will use (including,
of course, the ones that you used for this assignment); identify those that look
as if they will be particularly useful to you.
B. FIU has a number of international students. You may want to try to
find a native speaker of the language that you use for your language profile
who will be willing to work with you. Perhaps you have an older relative who
speaks a language you would like to work on.
C. Other -Specify any other sources that will be available to you.
Note well -All bibliographic information MUST be presented in a standard
format such as Chicago, MLA. LSA. APA, etc. State which style manual you
will be following, and FOLLOW IT .