Linguistic Field Methods

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Introduction toLinguistic Field Methods,BertVaux& Justin Cooperfull text researchabstracts of all titlesmonthly updates1st printing (1999)2nd printing (2005)LlNCOM EUROPA

I111II1IpIiIiIiPublished by LlNCOM GmbH.1st printing (1999)2nd printing (2005)LlNCOMGmbHGmunder Str. 35D-81379 hop: www.lincom.atAll rights reserved, including the rights of translation into anyforeign language. No part of this book may be reproduced in anyway without the permission of the publisher. This LlNCOMEUROPA publication is a product of LlNCOM GmbH.Printed in E.C.Printed on chlorine-free paperDie Deutsche Bibliothek - CIP Cataloguing-in-Publication-DataA catalogue record for this publication is available from DieDeutsche Bibliothek (http://www.ddb.de)IIIIiiContentsAuthors' Preface . iv1 Introduction . 51. Why Do Fieldwork? . :. :.'. 62. Selecting an Informant . 73. Working with an Informant . 104. Collecting and Organizing the Data . 215. Introductory Procedures . 23, Exercises . 252 Transcription . ,. 261. Introduction . 262. The Transcription System. :. 273. How to Transcribe . , 304. Transcription Traps . 32Exercises . :. 353 Basic Lexicography . 371. Approaches to Vocabulary Collection. 37'2. Elicitation versus Reference Tools . 383. Eliciting Vocabulary Effectively . :. 394. Elicitation Traps . ,. , . 405. What to CoHect. . ,. 42Exercises . :. ;. ,. 43List 1: The Swadesh list .'. 44List 2: AFrequency List (based on Armenian) . .464 Semantics . 501. Sample Interview I . 502. Sample Interview IT .,. 55Exercises . 605 Articulatory Phonetics . 611. Introduction . 612. What to Describe . :. 613. Observing Articulations . 634. Describing Articulations . 635. Reproducing Articulations . 64Exercises . 676 Acoustic Phonetics . ,. 681. Introduction . 682. Equipment . 693. Analyzing Acoustic Data . 72Exercises . 767 Segmental Phonology . 771. Introduction . 772. How to Identify Phonological Rules . ;. . 783. How to Identify Phonological Constraints . "{.u,. #:: . 80. a Phono1ogIca. 1 Ana1ySlS. . , , \'\1":: :;. .'4 .;; . . 804 . C onstructmg.5. Common Phonological Processes .82Exercises . ,. . . J.,83 .'*" .I!,

iiIntroduction to Linguistic Field Methods8 Prosodic Phonology . . 841. futroduction . i. 842. Stress . 843. Syllables .·. 874. Tone and futonation . 895. Reduplication. 906. Truncation. 917. Language Games . 91Exercises . 929 Nominal Morphology . 931. Focus offuquiry . 932. Elicitation Techniques for Nominal Morphology . 983. Pronominals . 994. Stumbling Blocks . 100Exercises . 10310 Verbal Morphology . 1041. Verbal Paradigms . 1042. Collection Techniques . :. 1083. Texts . 110ContentsExercises . 18016 Text Collection . 1811. futroduction . 1812. Materials and Methods . 1823. Types of Texts . 1834. Potential Problems . 189Exercises . 192Appendix: The futemational Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) . 193References . 194 ! :::::::::: ::::::::: 11 Syntax I: Collection techniques and session planning . :,. 1151. Grammaticality Judgements . ,. 1152 . Collection Tricks for Syntax . 1203. Planning the Session . . 1214. Warnings . . 122Exercises . 123Sample Sentence List . 12412 Syntax ll: Advanced Work in Syntax . 1251. The Session. 1252. The fuformant's English . 1303. Further Syntactic Phenomena . 1314. Trouble Spots . 133Exercises . 13513 Pragmatics . 1361. Methods . 1362. Topics . . 1373. Challenges and Warnings . 146Exercises . 14814 Sociolinguistics and Dialectology . 1491. Methodology. 1492. What to Collect . 1533. Dialect fuformation and How to Collect It. . 1594. Traps and Pitfalls . ;. 162Exercises . 16415 Historical Linguistics . 1651. futroduction . 1652. What to Collect . 1663. How to Collect It . 1774. Traps and Pitfalls . ;. 178III111

Authors' PrefaceThe present volume addresses the need for an up-to-date and accessible introduction to theelicitation of linguistic data from native speaker informants. The material, following anintroductory chapter surveying the general enterprise of field research, is organized into eightmajor areas of current linguistic interest: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax,Semantics, Sociolinguistics and Dialectology, Historical Linguistics, and Lexicography. Thechapters are designed to be covered at a rate of one per' week, based on a sixteen-weeksemester. Each chapter presents basic structures to be elicited, and provides cautionary talesdrawn from the experiences of seasoned field workers who have attempted to elicit thesestructures. These, in tum, are followed by suggested readings and illustrative exercises foreach chapter. Emphasis is placed not on developing a theory of field work, nor on learninglinguistic theory, but rather on providing enlightening suggestions and entertaining anecdotesdesigned to guide students down their own personal paths to linguistic discovery.Though we are theoretical linguists ourselves, this is not a book of linguistic theory;we believe that the fundamentals of linguistic theory are best covered in the introductoryphonetics and phonology, syntax, morphology, and general courses offered by mostlinguistics departments. This book is designed to be accessible to those who have nobackground in linguistics, and may not even be interested in pursuing a degree in linguistics.Those who are interested in pursuing further linguistic study should consider this book as thejumping-off point for theoretical study of each topic. For example, we consider stresssystems in chapter 8, but we do not look at the theories that have been developed byphonologists such as Morris Halle and Bruce Hayes to account for the behavior of stresssystems. We focus on how to collect the relevant data successfully; the question of why thedata look the way they do is amply treated in textbooks on phonological theory, such asKenstowicz 1994. We have tried to lead the interested beginning reader to these sources inour Suggested Readings at the end of each chapter.Though the pace of the text is designed for an undergraduate-level introductory FieldMethods course, and requires np prior knowledge of linguistics, more advanced students andscholars may find many portions of the book useful as well. We have made a conscious effortto present the material in a conversational manner devoid of unnecessary technical terms andrhetorical devices; we hope that this departure from the norms of academic Writing style willnot prove excessively jarring to our readers.Chapters 4, 9-13, and 16 were contributed by Cooper; the remaining chapters werewritten by Vaux. At some points, particularly when relating p rsonal anecdotes, it has been, necessary to refer to the author involved as "1". In all such cases the narrator in question canbe inferred from the chapter breakdown just provided.'Weare indebted to the following colleagues for their contribution of anecdotes andcomments on earlier drafts of this book: Makiko Asano, Ernest and Terri Barreto, AndrewCarnie, Dan Everett, Amanda Fortini, Ken Hale, Morris Halle, Kevin Herwig, Sabbir Kolya,Christina Maranci, Lynn Nichols, James Russell, Seth Sanders, Engin Sezer, Michele Sigler,Hoskuldur Thrainsson, Cassia van der Hoof Holstein, Calvert Watkins, and Lindsay Whaley.BertVauxJustin CooperCambridge, MAOctober 1998

1!nf1 IntroductionIII!The field of linguistics currently finds itself in a curious state. On one hand, most cuttingedge research in the field for the past forty years has been based on the Chomskyan premisethat the primary focus of linguistic inquiry should- be on the grammatical competence of theindividual, regardless of the particular language (s)he speaks. This has engendered a greatdeal of insularity in the linguistic community, as theoretical linguists have increasinglyconcentrated on their own language (normally English), and quite often only their ownidiolect. This approach is of course justified in many respects, for no two individualgrammars are the same, and conflation by the linguist of multiple grammars can lead to allsorts of confusion and error. Furthermore, there is-contrary to popular belief-more thanenough material of linguistic interest in a single individual's grammar to keep a linguist busyfor an entire c.areer.However, linguistics is simultaneously moving in the opposite direction as well. Thesame research program which validates devoting one's whole professional life to elucidatingthe grammar of a single individual also mandates (by virtue of its belief in UniversalGrammar, an innate linguistic endowment common to all humans) investigation into the fullrange of linguistic possibilities allowed by natural languages. It is therefore in the interest oftheoretical linguists to have at their disposal descriptions and analyses of the widest possiblevariety of languages. At the same time, there is an ever-increasing need to document andanalyze the rapidly decreasing pool of human languages. Fortunately, in spite of the currentdominance of theoretical linguistics in the United States and Europe, there are still manyprofessional and aspiring field linguists who are committed to carrying out the work thatremains to be done.The st

6 Introduction to Linguistic Field Methods :, We have also attempted to address the lack of a comprehensive textbook that p.resents the rudiments of field methodology in all of the major areas of linguistic inquiry. Though a number of books and articles dealing with various aspects offield work already exist esee for example Payne 1951, Longacre 1964, Samarin 1967, Brewster 1982, and other .

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