Welcome to the Tense and Aspect of the Pacific (TAP) lab’s research website.

The overarching goal of our research is to understand how human languages convey information about time. This project addresses the question by focusing on understudied languages of Northwestern North America and Austronesia. By applying formal linguistic methodologies and analyses to previously unstudied systems, we aim to shed light on how human languages can refer to events beyond the here and now.

This project primarily targets  two language groups: Aboriginal languages from the Northwest of North America (from the Salish, Tsimshianic, and Na-Dene families), and Austronesian languages (from the Malayo-Polynesian and Formosan groups). However, we are interested in all languages! We are investigating phenomena such as tenselessness, the perfect aspect, and (im)perfectivity. We are also developing methodological tools for conducting fieldwork on temporality, including targeted construction storyboards (see http://www.totemfieldstoryboards.org/stories/).


Email us at: lisa.matthewson@ubc.ca

Or write to us at:

Totem Field Studios
UBC Department of Linguistics
2613 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6T 1Z4