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Pike Center awards two small grants

Through its Small Grants Program, the Pike Center sponsors research and publication that address issues faced by language communities on the margins of society. We are pleased to announce that two grants have been awarded in the latest cycle of this program.

$2,500 has been awarded to Thomas Payne for a project entitled “Pagsantop han Winaray — Understanding Waray Grammar.” This project will allow Dr. Payne to travel to the Philippines to complete his collaboration with Dr. Voltaire Oyzon (a linguist who is also a speaker of Waray) in writing a textbook on Waray grammar. The textbook will be written in both English and Waray for use at teacher training institutions in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines where Waray is used as a lingua franca. With over 3 million speakers, Waray is the sixth most widely spoken language in the Philippines. It is hoped that the resulting grammar will become a kind of template for similar textbooks to be produced in other Philippine languages for educators in other regions. Dr. Payne is a Senior Linguistics Consultant with SIL International; he holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

$2,400 has been awarded to June Dickie for work on “A Facebook community group for (Zulu) poets: a means to encourage interest in Psalms and their translation.” Zulu is one of twenty indigenous languages in South Africa. Zulu youth enjoy writing and performing their own poetry, but generally are not aware of biblical poetry or they find that it does not sound like Zulu oral art. This research will experiment with using social media as a platform for promoting interest in artistic renderings of biblical psalms and for inviting participation in the process of crafting them. Many poetic “translations” will be produced for each psalm that the group focuses on. These could contribute to the Bible translation project that is in progress, but more importantly, it is hoped that the cultural identity of youth will be strengthened, along with their interest in translation. The published research results will describe how the methodology can be replicated for other languages and genres. Dr. Dickie is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a translation consultant for Wycliffe South Africa; she holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Gary Simons