In April, I had the great pleasure of attending the “Workshop on modality in underdescribed languages: Methods & insights” at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It was organized by a group of editors and authors of the new volume of the same name (Modality in Underdescribed Languages: Methods and Insights, edited by Vander Klok, Rech and Guesser). I presented a paper discussing some methodological lessons I’ve while studying modal expressions in South African languages, and also co-presented, with Stefan Savić and Onelisa Slater, preliminary results from our corpus study of modality in isiXhosa. I was honoured and thrilled to receive a copy of the new volume as a prize for “best abstract” (although I have to admit that it was a bit daunting to receive this distinction publicly, shortly before giving my presentation!). Most importantly, I gained new insights on methods and theoretical issues that will guide my work going forward. Many thanks to the organisers for their stellar work in planning the workshop, and to all the participants for the warm and encouraging atmosphere.
The workshop also included an excursion to the Humboldt Forum, which I highly recommend to anyone visiting Berlin!