Linguistic anthropology, language and culture, language and identity, language and the Internet, discourse analysis, Bantu, phonetics and phonology; contemporary US, Kenya
Currently, my research involves working with the Abagusii, a Bantu community, on language documentation and revitalization programs. The Abagusii live in southwestern Kenya near Lake Victoria. Their language, called Ekegusii, is a member of the Kuria subgroup and is labelled as language E.42 in Malcom Guthrie's Bantu language classification. Ekegusii is closely related to Igikuria, Ikizu, Ikoma which are spoken in Tanzania. It is an underdescribed minority language with relatively few academic descriptions and is virtually unwritten. Ekegusii presents an interesting site for language research: (1) it is spoken in an area that is dominated by Nilo-Saharan languages; Luo is spoken immediately to the west, Kipsigis to the northeast, and Maasai to the southeast, and (2) language policy in Kenya mandates the national languages Kiswahili and English are taught in schools and are the languages of instruction, thus relegating Ekegusii to private settings.
My dissertation focusses on Ekegusii phonology, in particular tonology. The objective of my dissertation is to provide an in-depth description of Ekegusii segmental phonology, units of tone, and tonal patterns.
Other works include the examination of the textual structure of Internet chatroom discourse, focusing on the strategies used by participants to create a semantically coherent structures, and analysis of how stance and frames are employed as a means of language socialization in gay discourse.
In the summer of 2012, Nash (with colleague Arienne Dwyer) will co-Direct CoLang: Institute for Language Documentation here at the University of Kansas.