Emily Gasser researches Wamesa in West Papua, Indonesia
Emily Gasser is spending the fall semester in the field to document Wamesa, an endangered Austronesian language with approximately 5000 speakers on the eastern Bird’s Head of West Papua, Indonesia. While Wamesa is more widely spoken than many other languages of the area, younger speakers are switching over to Papuan Malay for daily use. With research funding from the NSF, Emily plans to spend a total of seven months recording the language in order to produce a grammar and dictionary of the language. Far more work is still needed on the many diverse languages of the region, many of which are still undescribed.