TWU LINGUISTICS COLLOQUIUM SERIES

A Selection of Recent Colloquia

Trinity Western University is pleased to welcome guest lecturers for the linguistics colloquia series.  These are often alumni of the linguistics department or colleagues who have worked in various linguistics roles overseas.  Graduate students in the MA Linguistics program benefit from the field research, experience and advice of these linguists in colloquia, held 3 or 4 times per semester. Below is a selection of recent colloquia.


April 4, 2019 - Current Issues in Bible Translation

A panel discussion led by four CanIL faculty.

Sean Allison:

"Cameroon Initiative" (Summer Institute of Linguistics, Cameroon), with special focus on Oral Bible Storying

Danny Foster:

Funding Strategies, Localization

Steve Nicolle: 

Competency-based Certification of Consultants

Doug Trick:

Analyzing Discourse of BT Leaders


March 14, 2019 - Ambiguity As a Translation Value

Ben Kuwitzky, CanIL Alumnus

Clarity is one of the most esteemed qualities of a good translation, but is it always a value translators should aim for? Ben will address the challenges of translating ambiguous texts, and through the lens of Skopos theory consider the question of when translations may legitimately be ambiguous. His conclusions have implications both for meaning-based translation practices as well as our overall view of clarity and its status as a core translation value.


February 14, 2019 - Product Received: Influence of ‘the Old in the New’ on Formulating Theologies of ‘the’ Septuagint

Kyle Young, CanIL

In August 2018, scholars from around the world gathered in Stellenbosch, South Africa to discuss a topic: “Formulating a Theology of the Septuagint.” Kyle was asked to present about how New Testament studies relates to the topic. He plans to share the fruits of his presentation for a non-specialist audience, further explaining why his research is (or should be) of interest to those who participate in Bible translation.


January 24, 2019 – The tonal and intonational phonology of Lhasa Tibetan

Dr. Jonathan Lim, University of Ottawa/CanIL alumnus

This presentation provides a description of the tonal and intonational phonology of Lhasa Tibetan (LT) in the Autosegmental-Metrical framework. It is based on recorded data elicited from members of the Tibetan-Canadian community in Ottawa and Toronto.


October 4, 2018 - Going the Distance: Sustainable Practices so You Don't Drop Out

Keith Mitchell, Lecturer in pastoral and practical theology at Morling College, Sydney, Australia

The threat of overstress and burn out are seen as common aspects of many vocations that involve sizeable amounts of human interaction. The ability to manage these relationships and be sustained can be daunting and overwhelming at times. This presentation will outline strategies to assist you to be sustained in the many and varied situations of vocational stress that you might encounter, especially surrounding conflict and your own sense of self-worth.


July 12, 2018 - Implications of Multilingualism on Scripture Engagement

Jaap Feenstra, Strategy Consultant, SIL International

We are learning to look at languages as they exist next to each other in speech communities.


July 5, 2018 - Clause combining strategies in Menya

Dr. Carl Whitehead, Wycliffe Canada, SIL PNG

The Menya language of Papua New Guinea uses a wide range of clause combining strategies. As is typical of Papua languages, the dominant strategy is the use of clause chains in which the last clause contains a fully inflected ‘final’ verb form but the earlier clauses contain ‘medial’ verb forms. Medial clauses are dependent on the final clause for categories such as tense and mood, but are themselves inflected to indicate whether or not there is identity between the main referent in the adjacent clauses. However, the more traditional categories of coordination and subordination are also important, and the ‘serial verb’ strategy that has been much studied in recent decades is also used. The morphology of the Menya verbs will be presented along with their various functions.


June 28, 2018 - Practical Grammars for Mother Language Based Multi-lingual Education

Dr. Tom Payne, University of Oregon and SIL International

Most people in the world speak at least two languages – their “Mother Language,” which they learn at home as a child, and one or more languages of wider communication. The languages of wider communication usually represent prestige, power, and economic advancement. Power disparities between the Mother Language and prestige languages often result in attitudes, on the part of speakers and non-speakers alike, that the Mother Language is inferior, illogical, or even “primitive.” Current research has shown, however, that basic education is much more effective when it affirms the value of the Mother Language, and provides instruction in the Mother Language throughout the elementary education cycle.

This situation is especially acute in the Philippines, a country where over 150 distinct Mother Languages are spoken. The Government of the Philippines mandates that every Filipino has the right to instruction in her or his Mother Language for the entire elementary education cycle. However, school systems around the country have been struggling to implement this mandate.

It is not easy to provide materials, train teachers, and write curricula for 150 distinct Mother Language based education programs.  In this paper I document this situation in the Philippines, define the concept of “practical grammar”, and show how a practical, communication- first perspective on grammar is an essential component to any program of Mother Language Based Multilingual education.