My work here has centered on the study and description of American Indian languages, but it now includes three Austronesian languages, Atayal (Formosan), Ilokano (Philippine), and Yogad (Philippine). In 1966, I began work on Bella Coola, a Salishan language spoken in British Columbia, Canada. With Dr. R. Saunders (SFU), I have co authored numerous papers and articles on this language; a collection of texts and a grammar are in print. A dictionary is in progress. Since 1983, I have also worked on another American Indian language, Alabama (Muskogean) with Professor Heather K. Hardy (NIU), and I have directed a dissertation on a related language, Oklahoma Creek.
Hardy, Donald E. 1988. The Semantics of Creek Morphosyntax. Supported by NSF Grant BNS86 16200.
In the spring semester, 1989, while Visiting Research Professor, Graduate Institute of English, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C., I began study (with Dr. L. Huang, NTNU) of Atayal, an Austronesian language of the Formosan branch, spoken in Taiwan, R.O.C. Since 1989, I have been working on several Philippine languages, especially, Yogad. I have co-authored a grammar of this language, and a dictionary was published in 2000. I have directed two dissertations which are concerned with Philippine languages:
Baker, John W. 1994. Determinacy and Participant Formation: De Marmore Angeli.
On Ilokano &Yogad. Recipient of the John W. Gardner Award in Humanities and Social Sciences for the best and most original dissertation for the academic year 1993-1994.
Spitz, Walter L. 1997. Lost Causes: An examination of morphological causatives in two Philippine languages.
On Hiligaynon & Yogad.
Languages on which I have done fieldwork since 1966 include:
Salishan family of languages, especially Bella Coola,
but including Halkomelem (Katzie and Chehalis dialects) and Shuswap.
Muskogean family of languages, especially Alabama.
Austronesian family of languages.
Plus Igbo, Thai, Gujarati, Malay, Korean, Farsi, Eastern Armenian,
Western Armenian, Tagalog, Amharic, Khmer, Telugu, Akawaio, Wolof.
My work here centers on the investigation of cognitive abilities that underlie the communicative use of language. This draws upon and generalizes the interests in (1). The manuscript Language and Intelligence is representative of this aspect of my research. This interest has been furthered by the symposium entitled "Language and Its Cognitive Interpretation", which I organized and which took place 16 April-19 April, 1991. The participants in the symposium (Michael Bamberg, James E. Copeland, Philip W. Davis, Barbara Fox, John Haiman, Paul J. Hopper, Ronald Langacker, Sandra A. Thompson, Stephen A. Tyler, and Anna Wierzbicka) were charged with re-examining their own thought about language and suggesting substantive ways in which language may be (re )conceptualized so that it is integrated with other aspects of human intelligence. The symposium papers were published by Pergamon Press under the title Alternative Modes in Linguistics: Reinterpreting Language. A second, and expanded symposium entitled "Descriptive and Theoretical Modes in the Alternative Linguistics" was held 31 March - 3 April, 1993. All those from the 1991 symposium returned, and they were joined by Professors Jack Du Bois and Robert D. Van Valin, Jr. The results of that symposium entitled, Alternative Modes in Linguistics: Reinterpreting Language, have been published by John Benjamins.
Research activity is ongoing in both these areas, each of which is open-ended.