Dr. Paul Arsenault, a Wycliffe Canada member and faculty member of the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL), has been awarded a top prize from the Journal of the International Phonetic Association. Arsenault co-authored Kalasha (Bumburet Variety) with Alexei Kochetov, Jan Heegård Petersen, Sikandar Kalas and Taj Khan Kalash.
Arsenault, an assistant professor of linguistics serving on CanIL’s east campus at Tyndale University, shared the award for “Most Illustrative Publication.”
“We are truly honoured to receive the award,” says Arsenault, “which increases awareness of the Kalasha people and their language by drawing attention to the study.
“We hope it encourages others to undertake further documentation of the language and other endangered minority languages like it. Most of all, we hope it helps the Kalasha community preserve their unique language for posterity.”
Kalasha, also known as Kalashamon, is a Northwestern Indo-Aryan language spoken in Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province in northern Pakistan, primarily in the valleys of Bumburet, Rumbur, Urtsun and Birir. The number of speakers is estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000.
The Journal of the International Phonetic Association is a peer-reviewed academic journal, published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the International Phonetic Association.
The article on Kalasha was published as part of a long-running series in the journal featuring brief, documentary-style articles illustrating principles of phonetic analysis applied to various languages of the world. This year is the 50th anniversary of the journal, and to mark the occasion, its editors launched an annual “most illustrative illustration” award.