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Dr. Cliff Pye receives NSF grant to document how children acquire Northern Pame

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dr. Cliff Pye received a three-year grant from the NSF Program Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) to document how children acquire Northern Pame. The project will run from 2014 to 2016 and will record children between 2 and 4-years old acquiring Northern Pame as their first language. Northern Pame is an Otomanguean language spoken in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí by 6,000 people living in scattered communities. The differences between Northern Pame and English provide an opportunity to test current acquisition theories on a number of dimensions. Northern Pame has a combination of stress and tone, it has nasalized and laryngealized vowels, and it marks nouns for number and association. The number marking is of interest because Northern Pame inflects nouns for singular, dual and plural. The association marking is interesting because it marks typical relationships such as a rat living in someone’s house.



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