Hedvig Skirgard is a PhD student from Australian National University (ANU) staying in Samoa to exchange with scholars at NUS and record material for her study of Samoan language.
Her research investigates variation within Samoan and what that can teach us about language diversification. She is particularly interested in the lack of geographic variation in the samoan language and abundance of social variation in Samoa. Why are there 120+ languages in Vanuatu but one in Samoa? Why and how do languages become different from each other?
She will be comparing findings in Samoan to other Polynesian languages and other languages of the pacific. Her research is part of a larger project at ANU called the Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity. “We are also conducting fieldwork in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory of Australia. During my stay in Samoa, I will be travelling to western Savai’i and record people there, as well as staying in Apia and working with scholars here.”
For further information regarding her research, you can visit her website: https://sites.google.com/site/hedvigskirgard/
You can also read the project description of the overall project here: