Undergraduate Field Methods

Undergraduate Field Methods (MW, 4:10-5:30)

How do linguists approach the documentation of a new or understudied language? In this class, you will work with a native speaker of such a language to gain skills in linguistic
description, analysis, and documentation. You will learn how to plan and carry out focused elicitation of linguistic data through in-person consultation with a speaker. You will learn
methods for targeting different aspects of the grammatical system (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics) as well as how to code and organize your data in a way that will be
useful for you and your research collaborators (in this case, your classmates). We will also discuss the ethics of conducting fieldwork, the kinds of challenges linguists face when
conducting fieldwork, and best practices when it comes to working with communities of speakers in describing and documenting endangered languages. You will be expected to
conduct weekly in-class elicitation with our linguistic consultant as a group, and you will also meet individually with the consultant once a week for additional elicitation. Ultimately, the goal of the class is for us to describe different aspects of the grammar of the language of our consultant. Each student will select a unique topic on which to focus and will present their findings to the class at the end of the quarter.


Jessica Kantarovich -- Spring 2021