Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: Doctoral Dissertation Research: Plant knowledge and its relation to dialect distribution in Greenland (Award# 1313305)

PI: McPeek, Mark A (mark.a.mcpeek@dartmouth.edu)
Phone: (603) 646.2389 
Institute/Department: Dartmouth College, Department of Biological Sciences 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ASSP
Program Manager: Dr. Anna Kerttula (akerttul@nsf.gov)
Discipline(s): | Social and Human Sciences\Anthropology |

Project Web Site(s):
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=13...

Science Summary:
This award supports dissertation research in ethno-botany and ethno-linguistics to explore the cross-dialectical similarities and differences among the known dialects of the Greenlandic language. The CoPI, student researcher, will be examining plant knowledge and usage by Greelandic people and what this knowledge can tell us about linguistic change in the country. The researcher argues that because plants in the Arctic are circumpolar in range, suggesting a high likelihood of similar uses among arctic peoples, and because the Inuit of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland share ancestry and language, she should be able to make some inferences about the relationship between Inuit knowledge of plant usage and linguistic change. Greenland is home to three of the 16 Inuit language dialects making it an ideal location for documenting plant names and uses to preserve this knowledge and to determine how usage varies across dialects as a proxy for knowledge across all Inuit dialects. Additionally, these data will be used to test an explanatory model put forth by linguist Michael Fortescue (1986) that suggests dialect distribution in Greenland is the result of relatively recent migrations first to the island and subsequent migrations along the coast.

Logistics Summary:
During late July - August 2015 the Co-PI will conduct interviews at various settlements and villages across Greenland (Nuuk, Narsarmiit, Qaqortoq, Paamiut, Sisimiut, Aasiaat, Qeqetarsuaq, Kangerluk, Kulusuk, Tasiilaq, Tinitiqilaaq, Upernavik Town, and Upernavik Kujalleq) in order to document plant knowledge and its relation to dialect distribution. When possible researchers will walk the land with consultants to document rituals or beliefs about plant collection. Data will be used to determine if plant uses are similar, and if plant names share etymologies, across different dialects. Results will document and describe plant knowledge and expand understanding of dialect distribution in Greenland.

All logistics will be organized by the researcher and paid through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2015Greenland - Aasiaat07 / 14 / 2015 07 / 16 / 20151
2015Greenland - Kangerluk07 / 20 / 2015 07 / 21 / 20151
2015Greenland - Kulusuk07 / 15 / 2015 07 / 15 / 20151
2015Greenland - Narsarmiit06 / 28 / 2015 06 / 29 / 20151
2015Greenland - Nuuk06 / 23 / 2015 06 / 27 / 20151
2015Greenland - Paamiut07 / 05 / 2015 07 / 08 / 20151
2015Greenland - Qaqortoq06 / 30 / 2015 07 / 04 / 20151
2015Greenland - Qeqertarsuaq07 / 17 / 2015 07 / 19 / 20151
2015Greenland - Sisimiut07 / 09 / 2015 07 / 13 / 20151
2015Greenland - Tasiilaq07 / 25 / 2015 07 / 28 / 20151
2015Greenland - Tiniteqilaaq07 / 29 / 2015 07 / 30 / 20151
2015Greenland - Upernavik07 / 31 / 2015 08 / 01 / 20151
 


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