A Pear Story Task in Yaeyaman

I have been doing fieldwork on Yaeyaman for the last 6 years or so, and a lot of that research has focused on the variety spoken in Miyara village. Below are some recordings I made illustrating a task I designed using the “pear story” video. The task requires two participants, and is divided into three parts. In part one, participant 1 watches the pear story video and describes it to participant 2, who cannot see the video. Participant 2 is allowed to ask questions of participant 1. In part 2, participant 2 summarizes the contents of the video based on what she heard from participant 1. Participant 1 is allowed to interrupt and provide corrections to this summary. In part 3, both participants watch the video, and discuss what they are seeing.

The goal of this task is to get naturalistic data pertaining to:
(1) temporal distinctions (by comparing the time of the video event with the utterance time of the verbal form used to describe it),
(2) evidential distinctions (by having one participant witness the event, and the other hear a report),
(3) new/old information distinctions (from the first viewing of the video to the second and third),
(4) “informational authority” distinctions (based on who has privileged access to information).

I’m planning to replicate this task with a number of other varieties of Yaeyaman. The same task can of course be done with other (silent) films.

[Thank you to Naokichi and Tamiko Yamashiro for their participation in making these videos!]

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