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A description of Paallirmiutut for Speech Language Pathology: the beginnings - Martha Arnarauyak, Amie Hay & Bettina Spreng

4:45 PM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
This presentation reports on the beginning stages of a three-part project for Paallirmiutut, spoken in Arviat, Nunavut. Paallirmiututis actively spoken as a first language and is the primary language of instruction between grades k-5. There is little description (Dorais (2003). Speech Language Pathology (SLP) is an allied health profession specializing in the analysis and diagnosis of speech, language, pragmatics, and swallowing. For language assessment, it is important to understand the phonetics and grammar of the adult language and the developmental milestones in child language. However, there are no comprehensive linguistic descriptions of adult nor child language for Paallirmiutut. Assessment is currently being completed with the adaptation of English language assessments which have normative data based on American data sets. Providing SLP services to Northern populations however requires culturally appropriate normative language data for assessment tools. The absence of normative data is causing clinicians to question the validity of their data versus regional dialectal differences. This project aims to address this situation. A) A basic grammatical and phonological description of Paallirmiutut. B) Audio and video recording of child language in Arviat to provide insight into the typical process of child language acquisition with focus on the ages 2-5. Analysis will focus on the mean length of utterance (MLU), their use of grammatical morphemes, and development in pronunciation. C) Archived and analysed material will be used to develop a descriptive grammar and dictionary of derivational morphemes to be used in the development of assessment material
University of Saskatchewan
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