Honors Program

Project Presenters

Tyler Davis

Title: "The Acquisition, Use, and Attitude of The Burmese Language According to Individu-als from The Chin Hills of Myanmar"
Major: German
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jens Clegg (ILCS)
External Reviewer: Dr. Chad Thompson (English/Anthropology)
Honors Program Council Liaison: Dr. Ann Livschiz (History)

Tyler Davis (Major: German, Minors: Linguistics & Spanish) is a senior at IPFW and will be graduating in December 2014. Aside from his regular coursework, Tyler has studied the Burmese language and culture, and has now begun to look at various indigenous languages and peoples of that country. In the summer of 2014, Tyler received a travel grant from IPSGA to travel to Burma (Myanmar) for educational purposes. He attended the South East Asian Linguistic Society's (SEALS) 24th Annual Conference in Yangon, Myanmar and was appointed as the new archivist for the society. Tyler hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in Linguistics and is currently looking at several programs.


Given the socio-political situation of Burma (Myanmar), there is an odd dynamic between the Burmese government and the speakers of the other 117 languages in the country. In August 2014, I traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to interview seven individuals, all refugees from Myanmar, whose mother tongues belong to the Kuki-Chin language family. I asked how each individual acquired the Burmese language in Myanmar while growing up in a community that is mostly not Burmese-speaking, how this relationship affected their views of their respective mother tongues and their views of Burmese, and if any of these views had changed since their arrival in the United States.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jens H. Clegg is an Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of International Language and Culture Studies. He teaches courses in Spanish language and linguistics. His areas of specialty and research are Bilingualism and language contact primarily focusing on the Spanish of the United States.