UBC Department of Linguistics
Totem Field Studios, 2613 West Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4
jozina.vander [at] ubc [dot] ca [link]
I primarily work on Javanese, a Western Malayo-Polynesian language of the Austronesian family spoken by over 90 million people in Indonesia. I recently came back from a fieldwork trip in May-June 2013 in Paciran, a town in the Lamongan region of East Java in Indonesia. There, I followed up on some data points gathered in my year-long trip in September 2010-August 2011 and a second trip in July 2012.
I’m into the cross-linguistic articulation of syntax and semantics, especially on TAM (tense-aspect-modal) markers. There is a lot to think about here. Within syntax, I’ve been focusing on how how movement and ellipsis phenomena such as VP-topicalization or VP-ellipsis shed light on the syntax of the extended VP projection. Within semantics, I am interested in establishing the basic semantics of TAM markers within the context of cross-linguistic research, such as how the modal space is carved in terms of possibility and necessity vs. the type of modality.
The importance of language documentation and preservation is another issue that I like to talk about. There are almost 7000 languages in the world, but researchers estimate that around half of these languages are endangered, or nearly extinct (www.ethnologue.org). And besides the multitude of languages, there is an amazing amount of dialects, many of which have never been documented or researched. This is one of the reasons why I like working on Javanese, because only the ‘standard’ variety of Javanese (the dialect of Yogyakarta and Solo) is mainly studied or taught, not the many dialects, which are actually very different. See my page on Javanese for a current list of linguistic study references.
- on language & linguistics: