The Luce Project – Luce အကြံအရွယ်

Gordon Hannington Luce was an English linguist who worked on various languages of Myanmar, Thailand, and several other countries within the Tibeto-Burman and Mon-Khmer families.  If you read Burmese, you can read my post here describing who he is and why he’s important for the site.  If you cannot read Burmese, I’ll briefly explain here:

Luce published several works that are fundamental in the research of the Sizang language.  Amongst these are:

Luce, G. H. (1959). Chin Hills-Linguistic Tour (Dec. 1954)-University Project. Journal of Burma Research Society, 42(1), 19–31.

Luce, G.H. (1962). “Common Form in Burma Chin Languages.” Unpublished 76 page
manuscript originally scheduled to appear in Henderson 1962. Three
supplementary tables: A – 189 words in 22 Chin languages; B – 683 words
in 7 Chin languages; C – 192 words from table B compared with Burmese,
Karen, Tibetan and Chinese. Three supplementary notes: A – Tèdim
(Kamhow); B – Xôŋsai; C – Basic Tones in Chin.  As cited in Button (2011).

I have finished transcribing 189-word list from Table A of his unpublished manuscript.
I have transcribed all phonetic transcriptions and glosses into Excel-format (technically, LibreOffice Calc).  My next step is to check the data for any transcription errors on my part.  The final goal is to release these data in a searchable database, but first I will look for Sizang lexical data in materials written by Luce, which I have recently found.

At Sealang there is an extensive collection of papers from G.H. Luce, which are freely available to the public. These papers/ manuscripts contain a lot of lexical data and comparative lexical data. The manuscripts that interest me, of course, are those containing data from Sizang.  Luce’s papers on Sizang specifically can be found here and here.  One can also compare these lexical data with that of other languages in the Kuki-Chin family.

I plan to take the following steps with this project:

  1. Locate Luce’s Sizang data
  2. Transcribe Luce’s Sizang data into Microsoft Excel Format
  3. Format lexical items into an online searchable dictionary

Therefore, I need volunteers who can do the following:

  1. Read Luce’s handwriting (TODO: Add sample here) including his variations of IPA (TODO: Make basic guide to inform volunteers about Luce’s variant of IPA)
  2. Type in IPA (TODO: Make guide about typing in IPA)
  3. Navigate Excel
  4. Spend a lot of time to make a 2-week deadline from the assignment with no pay.

I am only one man, so if there is anyone (Sizang community or not) who is willing to assist me with these data, please CONTACT ME and I will gladly receive any help you can give.


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