Thursday, May 20, 2010

Time to play the name game

For the last couple of months I've enjoyed sharing Friday thoughts on a range of topics beyond my own work. This doesn't mean that I haven't been doing any of my own work, far from it. I'm still tidying up some final transcriptions from the last trip, thinking about what I need to do on the next trip (lots) and reading, reading, reading.

One thing I have been thinking about is that I am tired of referring to the language I'm working with as K. As I mentioned while I Nepal, there was some confusion over which language I was working on, and it eventually transpired that it is a previously undocumented dialect of a larger language. I maintained references to the language as K. until now for the sake of consistency.

The reason for this convention has nothing to do with the fact I'm trying to keep you from finding out who I'm working with and where. I'll happily tell you the name of the language if you email me/come to any presentation I do or read anything I (eventually) publish on this topic. It's more that the internet has a merciless memory, and if, in the future, people do want to find out about this language I don't want this blog to be the first thing that pops up.

I have been pondering a solution for a while and have decided to fabricate a pseudonym instead of continuing to resort to an initial. Therefore, for all future references in this blog to the language I'm working with and the people who speak it I'll use the word "Tam". This is their word for 'language' or 'speech' and is sufficiently short and snappy. For those that care it's a high tone word.

So no more Poe-like references to the language K., from now on all my rantings will be in relation to Tam - as well as whatever other linguistic matters pique my interest.

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