Language Contributors

Within speech communities, there are usually powerful institutions that decide who is an expert in their language and who is not. We are not concerned with this here. Our language contributors are people who speak their language fluently and who are interested in disseminating information about their language to a wider audience. These contributors speak a variety of their language that is close to the standard, but as with most linguistic research, one would expect to find a range of variation across different individual speakers.

To develop our audio excerpts for Phonology and Morphosytax, we did field research with native speakers of Russian, Bemba, and Samoan. The people that we worked with share a few words here about their backgrounds. Click on the text to hear streaming audio. RealPlayer is required.


Dr. Maria Lunk, Senior Lecturer and Language Coordinator, Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures, Emory University.

Ya rodilas' v Viskonsine, uchilas' v Viskonsinskom universitete, zakonchila ego v vosem'desyat' pyatom gody i poluchila doktorat po russkoi literature, spetsialnosti russkogo folklora. S vosem'desyat' pyatogo goda ya prepadayu v Emori universitete. U menya odna dochka. Ei uzhe dvenadtsat' let. Ee zovut Kristina. U nas tri sobaki, dva kota, i odna rybka.

I was born in Wisconsin, studied at Wisconsin University, graduated in 1985 and received a doctorate in Russian literature with a specialty in Russian folklore. I have been teaching at Emory University since 1985. I have one daughter. She is already 12 years old. Her name is Christina. We have three dogs, two cats, and one fish.


Maidstone Mulenga, Copy Editor, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Nine Maidstone Mulenga. Nafyalilwe ku musumba uyo bate ati Kitwe, mu calo ca Zambia. Nasambilila ku fyalo ifingi, lelo pa kashita kano ndi kuno ku calo ca United States, uko nsambilila no kubomba. Mbomba mu nyunshi. Mbomba na mashiwi. Mu Chibemba tatwakwata iyi insonselo, lelo mbomba ku newspaper. Naliupa, no mwana Lukonde, abakashi bandi ni Chanda. Elyo bamayo naba tata bacilipo. Bamayo bekala ku Kitwe kwine na bamayo. Nalikwata ne ndume four ne nkashi shibili. Lelo nga mwati mulande pa lupwa lwandi, lukulu saana teti tukumemo ukupenda. Lelo aba nalumbula ebali mupepi naine.

I am Maidstone Mulenga. I was born in the city of Kitwe, in the nation Zambia. I was educated in many countries, but at this time I am here in the United States, where I am studying and working. I work in news. I work with words. In Bemba we don't have the phrase, but I work in a newspaper. I am married with a child Lukonde, my wife is Chanda. And my mother and father are still there. My mom lives there in Kitwe, with my father. I have four brothers and two sisters. But if you are talking about my family, it is very large and you would not be able to count. But those I mentioned are the ones closer to me.