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Tungusic Research Group

The Tungusic Research Group (TRG) at Dartmouth College was established in 1998 with the generous assistance of the Dickey Center for International Understanding and a Research Experience for Undergraduates grant from the National Science Foundation. The core mission of the TRG is to facilitate collaborative research on the Tungusic languages and cultures of northern China and Siberia. The activities of the TRG are designed to foster such collaboration both among professional academics from around the world and between Dartmouth faculty members and students.

A vital aspect of the TRG mission is the inclusion of undergraduate students in the research projects of TRG members. Since the founding of the TRG in 1998, six students have been selected as research assistants. Before becoming directly involved in a research project, a research assistant is provided with a brief orientation in which s/he receives an introduction to the Tungusic language family and an overview of work being done by TRG members. Once the student feels sufficiently comfortable with the material presented during the orientation period, s/he selects a research area in consultation with one of the TRG members. Some recent examples are: possession in Evenki, a comparison of Tungusic case suffixes with those found in Turkic and Mongolic, and vowel harmony in Tungusic. In addition to their specific research projects, all research assistants are expected to contribute to the more mundane activities of the TRG such as data entry and bibliographic searches.

Students interested in serving as a research assistant for TRG should contact Professor Whaley. In most instances only majors with several courses in linguistics will be considered for a research position.

The TRG is headed by three faculty members: Lenore Grenoble and Lindsay Whaley at Dartmouth College, and Fengxiang Li at California State University, Chico. All the primary researchers of the Tungusic Research Group are currently involved in fieldwork on Tungusic languages. Grenoble specializes in Evenki. Her efforts to date have brought her to several locations in Siberia where the Eastern dialect of Evenki is spoken. Whaley and Li specialize in Oroqen and have carried out fieldwork in a number of locations in northeastern China.

Last Updated: 1/12/11