So now I've been home a couple of months from my last field trip you may be wondering what my plans are from here. I'm kind of wondering that too - but one thing I can tell you is that this year there is lots (and lots) of writing ahead.
I've now completed the bulk of my data collection. I'll spend the next month or so finishing the sketch grammar for my thesis. This is the short document I've written about how the language works and will go at the start of the thesis. By short I mean about 30,000 words, which is pretty abbreviated when you consider that a full grammar can go up to 100 000 words easily.
Once that's all tidied up I'll get stuck into chapter writing. I've decided that for the thesis I'll focus on three main areas of Tam. The first will be the verbs that mean roughly the same as 'be' in English as these do really cool things. The next is reported speech - how you say what someone else said - which Tam has a couple of very different ways of doing. Finally I want to look at questions, because you use those 'be' verbs to do some cool stuff. Underlining all this is that these features are parts of language that really involve the outside context and especially fellow speakers to work effectively.
So hopefully by the end of the year I'll have written the majority of the thesis - around 80 000 words. This will give me enough time and space for a short 'mop up' trip some time next year.
There are other projects going on as well. I'm currently tutoring 1st year linguistics which is a blast. I've got a few papers planned with different people and a medium sized project. I've also got some other exciting things planned which I'll hopefully be able to share with you all soon!