Talk/Seminar/Workshops

Linguistic Society of Nepal is going to organize two workshops in connection with its 35th Annual Conference on 28 and 29 November. The details on the workshops is as follows:
1. Workshop on Translation
Conducted by:
(1) Dr. Tej Ratna Kansakar, Professor, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
(2) Dr. Uma Shrestha, Professor, Western Oregon University, USA
(3) Dr. David Hargreaves, Professor, Western Oregon University, USA
(4) Mr. Basanta Thapa, President, Society of Translators Nepal, Nepal
Title: Aesthetics and Artifacts: Translating literary texts in Nepal
Date: 28th November 2014
Time: 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
Venue: CNAS, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Expected participants: about 40 participants including students of translation studies, translators, and people interested in the field.
Registration fee: 500 NRs.
- There will be tea and snacks/light food

Synopsis:
In the context of linguistics and linguistic anthropology in Nepal, translation of sentences and texts is often at the heart of what linguists do. From sentence elicitations to the recording of texts, to modern field techniques for gathering data, inevitably some provisional translation work takes place, typically from minority languages as “data” into Nepali and English. In this context, the primary goal of the translation is to render the language in a format so as to serve the purposes of analysis and documentation; the translated texts thus function as “data” or “artifact.” This is an essential element in the ongoing work of language preservation and documentation in Nepal.
However, in this workshop we intend to focus on texts as aesthetic objects. In other words, our panelists will focus on the “literariness” of specific texts, and the obstacles to translating linguistic qualities which native speakers would consider “artistic,” “beautiful,” “eloquent,” “meaningful,” or “significant.” Our goal is to address specific aesthetic issues directly, as linguists.

The fact that all literary translations are inadequate is taken as a given. We recognize that “translation theory” itself is very broad and not an appropriately focused topic. Nevertheless, it’s not often that those with linguistic backgrounds focus on language structure and function as literary art, and talk about how a linguistic analysis can be an aide to making the aesthetic judgments and compromises that translation entails. What we propose are a series of presentation/discussions in a workshop setting with the following format:
(1) focused analyses of some specific linguistic or cultural issues that have come up in our translation attempts,
(2) focused analyses of translation options by making explicit our linguistic choices. The issues will focus on specific phonological, metrical, semantic, syntactic, pragmatic, or cultural issues. We intend them to be concrete and text-focused.
(3) Discuss how each of the different options both succeed and fail in different ways as artistic choices made by translators.

2. Workshop on quantitative linguistics
Conducted by: Dr. Indranil Dutta, Assistant Professor, Department of Computational Linguistics, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India (See http://duttalab.wikispaces.com)
Title: Quantitative methods in linguistic analysis
Date: 28th and 29th November 2014
Time: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Venue: Kirtipur Hillside Hotel and Resort, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Expected participants: About 15 participants including student and researchers in linguistics
Registration fee: 1000 NRs.
(Those who want to join workshop on translation do not need to pay additional registration fee)
- There will be lunch.
- Participants should bring their laptop in order to perform statistical analysis.

Synopsis:
This workshop is an introduction to using statistical methods for linguistic analysis. In the past decade or so, linguists of all persuasions have relied extensively on statistical methods, both for unearthing patterns and seeking generalizations. This includes attempts to model linguistic behavior in quantitative terms, and also using modeltheoretic approaches along with empirical methods. In that respect, the primary goal of this workshop is for us to learn statistical methods, tests and techniques to further this ‘statistical’ turn in linguistic analyses. We will follow the primary textbook that outlines the uses of statistical methods for most all sub-disciplines of linguistics. The expectation at the conclusion of the workshop is that you will be able to design your own studies, perform statistical analyses, present your results and use data visualization techniques to advance your arguments.
The topics that we will cover will include the following but are not limited to:
• Central limit function
• Normal, chi-square and F-distribution
• Analysis of Variance(ANOVA)
• Linear and logistic regression
• Principal component analysis (PCA)
• Multi-dimensional scaling (MDS)
• Mixed-model effects

Required reading: Johnson, Keith. 2008. Quantitative Methods In Linguistics. Blackwell. (e-book available.)