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The Boise Language Project (BLP) was inaugurated in Spring 2010. Its main goal is to document the languages spoken by those arriving to Boise as refugees while serving that community through outreach activities. Since its inception, undergraduate students and faculty have worked on several documentation projects involving Somali-Chizigula (Bantu; G.311; xma), Maay (Cushitic; ymm), Ebembe (Bantu; D.54; bmb), Tshiluba (Bantu; L.31; lua), Kikoongo (Bantu; H.16; kng), and Kifuliiru (Bantu; D.63; flr).

Initial funding for the BLP is provided through an Arts and Humanities Block Research Grant from the College of Arts and Science. Since then, several projects have been funded by grants and fellowships from the Arts and Humanities Institute at Boise State, in addition to the Idaho Humanities Council.


During his years as a field linguist, Professor Jon P. Dayley documented indigenous languages ranging from those spoken in Idaho to Mayan languages spoken in Central America. Starting Fall 2010, we have been digitizing and archiving materials collected by Professor Dayley including recordings, field notes, and publications.

The Mary Ellen Ryder Linguistics Lab

The Mary Ellen Ryder Linguistics Lab supports research activities of linguistics faculty and students, and is home to the Boise Language Project, focusing on the documentation of languages spoken by refugees in the Boise area. Read research from the Mary Ellen Ryder Linguistics Lab archives.


Follow the links below to see linguistics abstracts and Posters from Boise State University’s Annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference:

Speech Properties of Deception (Jared Albrecht)
The Phonology of Hiligaynon (Tyler Casperson)
Pitch Differences in Bilingual Speakers (Anna Cox)
Japanese Sequential Voicing – Rendaku (Zachary Espil)
Developing an Online Portal for Categorical Perception (Kelsey Montzka)
Prosodic and Semantic Portrayal of Emotion in Music (Ivana Müllner)
Sentence Processing in First Language Acquisition (Elly Zimmer)
Linguistic Features of Uzbek (Students from ENGL 498, Spring 2010)
Linguistic Features of Kizigua (Students from ENGL 498, Spring 2011)
Linguistic Features of MaayMaay (Students from LING 498, Spring 2012)
Linguistic Features of Kibembe (Students from LING 498, Spring 2013)
Linguistic Features of Tshiluba (Students from LING 498, Spring 2014)
Linguistic Features of Kikoongo (Students from LING 498, Spring 2015)
Linguistic Features of Kifuliiru (Students from LING 498, Spring 2016)