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Raymond, Mary

School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, UK
Linguistics – Kubokota language, Ranongga

Current affiliation, academic qualifications and contact details
Mary Raymond
PhD student

Endangered Languages Academic Programme
School of Oriental and African Studies
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG


+44 (0)7906 807511


Research record and ongoing work
My PhD research focuses on the linguistic expression of space and motion in the Kubokota language, Ranongga Island; my thesis will also contain a sketch grammar of Kubokota, and I am developing an archive of oral and written Kubokota texts and other materials which will be stored in ELAR, the Endangered Languages Archive (http://www.hrelp.org/archive/).

I conducted fieldwork in Obobulu Village, Ranongga Island, between October 2006 and June 2007. As well as collecting data for my academic research, I collaborated with Debra McDougall to run a dictionary workshop with the goal of creating a dictionary of tree species. I also worked with the local kindergarten and primary school to produce vernacular language literacy materials such as an alphabet book, numbers book and illustrated story book. Because of the earthquake and tsunami, none of these projects has yet been completed; from April 2007 I concentrated on assisting the Obobulu community with disaster relief and recovery.

One project that I did complete in the post-earthquake period of my fieldwork was a CD of traditional and modern music performed and written by local people. Several of the songs were a response to the earthquake and tsunami. Creative arts projects as a means of processing and coming to terms with traumatic experiences have been helpful to communities in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami, and the production of the CD also seemed to be positive for the Ranonggan people involved. In future fieldwork I am considering the possibility of holding a story-writing workshop in which people would be given the opportunity to write or tell the stories of their earthquake experiences.

Key publications/reports/materials
2007. (With Peter Budd) ‘Community-oriented outcomes of language documentation in Melanesia.’ In Peter K. Austin, Oliver Bond and David Nathan, eds. Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory. London: Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project. 51-57.


Further ideas and reflections

It would be helpful if the initiative was able to work with the provincial and national government to make applying for research permits more transparent and straightforward, as the current process is a major barrier to conducting field research in the Solomons.


Raymond and Budd (2007) Community and Language in Melanesia (paper).pdf

Western Solomons
Updated 12 January, 2011