1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Jessica Rigney

P.O. Box 400120 

I come from a background working on the E-MELD team on Linguist List, which aimed to establish and disseminate consensus about standards of best practice for digital language documentation, and linguistic fieldwork first in Argentina, then in Australia. Over the years, my focus has shifted from language documentation and description to the ethnography of language documentation - that is, the study of what documentary linguists do when they're in the field. My proposed research aims to study the reception and response to orthographies of minority languages for which there has historically been limited literacy infrastructure. In this study, I plan to include intragroup comparisons among people from demographics that have different experiences with language work and vernacular literacy, as well as between individuals at different stages of fluency / multilingualism concerning the vernacular language. Special attention will be given to the influence of missionaries vs academic linguists vs grassroots language workers, the effect hat formal literacy education in the majority language and/or the vernacular may have on acceptance of the orthography, and the interrelationship between vernacular language (non)fluency, individual phonological systems, and receptions of vernacular orthographies.


Endangered Languages, Ethnography of Language Documentation, Orthography Development