Fieldwork

Passamaquoddy Workshop at MIT

In the Fall of 2019, I have started the Passamaquoddy Workshop at MIT. It is a weekly gathering of people who are interested in the Passamaquoddy language (an endangered Algonquian language spoken in Maine, USA and New Brunswick, Canada). The purpose of the group is to get enough experience with the language in order to be able to do fieldwork and research on it, to share and discuss fieldwork results, and to make these results useful to our MIT Indigenous Languages Initiative (MITILI) program alumn Roger Paul and other teachers of the language.

Lomonosov Moscow State University expeditions

I love doing fieldwork, and I was very  lucky to have spent 6 years in a department with great fieldwork traditions – Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics of Lomonosov Moscow State University. The distinctive feature of MSU field trips – called expeditions – is that a big group (often around 20 people) of researchers, with members ranging from distinguished professors to undergraduate students, travels to faraway places – usually to small villages – and lives there together for 2-3 weeks, exploring different aspects of some language, sharing the gathered data with each other, constantly collaborating and learning from one another.
Expeditions of this sort were first organized by Alexander Kibrik, and I was fortunate to learn about them from professor Kibrik himself.

The first expedition  (which investigated Lak – a Northeast Caucasian language spoken in Dagestan) happened in 1967, and there has been a plethora of such expeditions into different languages of Russia ever since. I have participated in 6 such expeditions, all under the supervision of Sergei Tatevosov. In my first expedition (2013) we worked on Balkar (Turkic), and in the 5 that followed we have been working on the Barguzin dialect of Buryat (Mongolic, 2014-2018). In 2019 we returned to work on the Balkar language again.

Georgian fieldwork

I have also traveled a few times to Tbilisi (Georgia) to do fieldwork on the Georgian language, and I really hope to be back and do more.