Linguistic Fieldwork / Edition 1

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This collection of original essays on the practice of linguistic fieldwork and language documentation by twelve leading field linguists considers the study of languages in a natural setting. Drawing on extensive research experience, the authors review those techniques that work best in practice, and discuss a variety of relevant topics, including the attitude of the linguist, the structure and content of the work session, the varied roles of native speakers, and the practical and personal challenges of doing research in an unfamiliar environment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Linguistic fieldwork does indeed convey the sense of excitement in conducting fieldwork, while at the same time discussing both the difficulties and rewards of doing such work...a book well worth reading, particularly by students who want a better idea of what to expect in entering the field for the first time and how to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. The book can also be useful to veterans of the field who are interested in finding new ways of approaching language in the field or are simply curious about the experiences of others." Southwest Journal of Linguistics

"This book is not only enjoyable to read, but it contains many useful insights into linguistic fieldwork, from a variety of perspectives." Canadian Journal of Linguistics

"This is a great volume for field linguists and linguistic anthropologists to read and is especially valuable for someone contemplating taking the plunge into fieldwork." Anthopological Linguistics, David Beck, University of Alberta

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521669375
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Newman is Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Director of the West African Languages Institute at Indiana University.

Martha Ratliff is Associate Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English at Wayne State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Paul Newman and Martha Ratliff; 1. Fieldwork as a state of mind Larry M. Hyman; 2. Who shapes the record: the speaker and the linguist Marianne Mithun; 3. Places and people: field sites and informants Gerrit J. Dimmendaal; 4. Ulwa (Southern Sumu): the beginnings of a language research project Ken Hale; 5. Escaping Eurocentrism: fieldwork as a process of unlearning David Gil; 6. Surprises in Sutherland: linguistic variability amidst social uniformity Nancy C. Dorian; 7. The role of text collection and elicitation in linguistic fieldwork Shobhana L. Chelliah; 8. Monolingual field research Daniel L. Everett; 9. The give and take of fieldwork: noun classes and other concerns in Fatick, Senegal Fiona McLaughlin and Thierno Seydou Sall; 10. Phonetic Fieldwork Ian Maddieson; 11. Learning as one goes Keren Rice; 12. The last speaker is dead - long live the last speaker! Nicholas Evans.

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