Honiara language workshop, August 2019

The Solomon Islands Kulu Language Institute (KLI) organised a workshop in August this year that attracted 100 participants representing 44 languages of the Solomon Islands.

The venue was the leaf house at Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral Grounds, Honiara. The workshop was sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, the Kulu Language Institute, the University of Melbourne, The Research Unit for Indigenous Language, and Islands Bible Ministries.

KLI has been running for 20 years and offers courses in the grammar of Luqa (Lungga), a language of Ranongga in the west of the Solomons.  Dr Zobule has written a grammar of the language using entirely local terms developed specifically to avoid using any English concepts.

There were two public lectures at the National Museum:
Why every language matters: what language diversity has to tell us, by Professor Nicholas Evans.

The Kulu Language Institute: A vernacular language movement in Ranongga, by Dr Alpheaus Zobule

Topics covered in the workshop included the following:

  • Mon 19 August: Languages of the Solomons: How are they connected? Dr Bethwyn Evans (ANU) & Dr Aurélie Cauchard (USP, Fiji)
  • Tues 20 August: Language structure
    Dr Alpheaus Zobule (KLI)
  • Wed 21 August (morning): Archives: finding and sharing language materials
  • Wed 21 August (afternoon): Recording methods and transcribing on computers
    Assoc Prof Nick Thieberger (U.Melbourne/CoEDL)
  • Thurs 22 August: Dictionaries
    Dr Debbie Hill (U.Canberra) and Prof Nick Evans (ANU/CoEDL)
  • Fri 23 August: Overview of FLEx and Elan
    Follow up on dictionaries
    Breakout discussion and plans for future activities

One of the activities we tried out was the use of the Raspberry Pi transmitters (discussed here) to present the many items in the PARADISEC collection from the Solomon Islands. With a hundred people we had to ration use of the wifi transmitters, but it was still a good way to return records.

The presentations are available for download here:

Words and Dictionaries
Writing definitions – Weaving
DrZobule, KULU grammar part 1
DrZobule, KULU grammar part 2
DrZobule, KULU grammar part 3
Audio recording and transcription
Archives of Solomon language materials
Languages of the Solomons
Elan Intro July 2019

A word from our sponsors

Listening to recordings from the 1960s in his language

Creating dictionary entries



Tommy Esau talking about the Kwaio cultural project

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