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Contents
List of Illustrations
xi
Acknowledgements and Preface to the Second Edition
xii
1
Introduction
1.1 About this book
1.2 What is the ‘field’ and what is ‘fieldwork’?
1.3 The term ‘informant’
1.4 Fieldwork and ‘theory’
1.5 Fieldwork and identity
1.6 Who’s working on the language?
1.7 Summary and further reading
1
1
2
10
11
13
15
16
2
Technology in the Field
2.1 Why make recordings?
2.2 Choosing recording equipment
2.3 Computers
2.4 Pen and paper
2.5 Recording practicalities
2.6 Checklist for equipment setup
2.7 Summary and further reading
18
18
19
28
29
30
34
35
3
Starting to Work on a Language
3.1 What to do at the first session
3.2 Discovering a phoneme inventory
3.3 More on transcription
3.4 Common errors and cues
3.5 Data organisation
3.6 What to record
3.7 Summary
37
37
41
42
44
46
47
48
4
Data Organisation and Archiving
4.1 Before the session
4.2 After the session
4.3 Software for data processing
4.4 Fieldnotes
4.5 Metadata
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52
56
59
61
65
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Contents
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.9
4.10
Processing field data
Interlinearising
Archiving
Organising data in field methods classes
Further reading
67
68
69
72
72
5
Fieldwork on Phonetics and Phonology
5.1 Broad and narrow transcription
5.2 Research design
5.3 Further topics in phonetic research
5.4 Suprasegmentals
5.5 Further topics in phonology
5.6 Further reading
73
73
74
78
80
82
84
6
Eliciting: Basic Morphology and Syntax
6.1 Why do elicitation?
6.2 First elicitation of sentences
6.3 Types of data collection
6.4 Potential problems
6.5 Summary
85
85
85
89
96
103
7
Further Morphology and Syntax
7.1 Elicitation of paradigms
7.2 Productivity
7.3 Selected topics in morphology
7.4 Variation and optionality
7.5 Discourse-based morphology
7.6 Handling unknown morphology
7.7 Common problems
7.8 Commonly missed constructions
7.9 Where to from here?
105
105
107
108
114
115
115
116
117
119
8
Lexical and Semantic Data
8.1 Getting vocabulary
8.2 Lexicon compilation
8.3 Specific domains for lexical elicitation
8.4 Frequent lexicographic pitfalls
8.5 Further reading
122
122
123
124
128
130
9
Discourse, Pragmatics, and Narrative Data
9.1 Types of naturalistic data
9.2 Working with naturalistic data
131
131
131
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9.3
9.4
9.5
9.6
What to do with the materials
Discourse data
Topics for investigation in discourse and pragmatics
Further reading
ix
135
138
140
141
10
Consultants and Field Locations
10.1 Field methods classes and the field
10.2 Choosing a field site and preparation
10.3 Choosing a consultant
10.4 Linguist–consultant interactions
10.5 Working with semi-speakers
10.6 Living in the field
10.7 Coming back from the field
10.8 Further reading
142
142
143
148
154
156
158
164
165
11
Ethical Field Research
11.1 Preliminaries
11.2 Ethics of recording
11.3 Ethics and archiving
11.4 Acknowledging speakers
11.5 Permissions
11.6 Other ethical issues in research
11.7 Payment
11.8 Minority areas and endangered languages
11.9 Further reading
167
167
169
171
171
172
175
182
183
188
12
Grant Application Writing
12.1 Steps to grant writing
12.2 What to include in a grant application
12.3 Budgets
12.4 Human subjects applications
12.5 Grant management and record keeping
12.6 What if you can’t get a grant?
190
190
191
193
197
203
203
13
Working with Existing Materials
13.1 Published resources
13.2 Other people’s field notes
13.3 Recordings
13.4 Some further comments about old records
13.5 Preparing for the field using others’ research
13.6 Further reading
205
205
206
207
209
211
214
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14
Contents
Fieldwork Results
14.1
Returning materials to communities
14.2
Orthography design
14.3
Learner’s guides and sketch grammars
14.4
Reference grammars
14.5
Other academic outcomes
14.6
Training community members
14.7
Web materials
14.8
Talking books
14.9
Dictionaries and word lists
14.10 Language revitalisation
14.11 Summary
215
216
217
221
222
223
224
225
225
226
230
232
Appendix A: Metadata Sheets
Appendix B: Suggested Fieldwork Program for an Undescribed Language
Appendix C: A Basic Phonetics/Phonology Checklist
Appendix D: A Basic Morphology/Syntax Checklist
Appendix E: Sample Consent Form
Appendix F: Equipment Checklist
Appendix G: Basic Word List
234
235
236
237
242
246
248
Notes
251
References
259
Index
273
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Introduction
1.1
About this book
This book describes methods for doing fieldwork on language. It grew out
of a need for a text which would be useful both to new fieldworkers in
linguistics and linguistic anthropology and to students in field methods
classes. Although elicitation strategies and data processing are the focus
of a field methods class, in the field there are many more skills needed
than just data collection, and it may well be that linguistics is the least
of the fieldworker’s worries. This book aims to bridge the gap between
the linguistics of fieldwork and the other tasks that lead to the smooth
running of a project, such as grant writing procedures, ethics and living
in the field.
What does linguistic fieldwork involve? What is the relationship
between the data that we collect, the theory that shapes our research questions and guides our data collection, and the speakers of the languages
we are working with? What biases do we introduce by collecting data
in a particular way? How do we go from the ‘raw’ data to a research
paper? How can we make the best use of speakers’ talents? And what are
the rights and responsibilities of the linguist and the consultant? These
questions form the core of what fieldwork entails and the framework for
this book.
Some may feel that I concentrate too much on archiving, metadata
and ethics to the exclusion of what has been traditionally thought of as
‘core’ fieldwork – that is, elicitation and working out the features of the
language under study. I disagree. We do not have the luxury of working
in a discipline with limitless funding, and students do not acquire extensive ethical training by osmosis alone. Ethical practice is just as much a
part of fieldwork as finding out about the language, and organising data
1
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is just as much a part of fieldwork as analysing it and writing up the
results. It is impossible to do the one well without also taking care of the
other. We cannot afford to think of these topics as non-core.
When using this book for a field methods class, the early classroom
chapters will be of most use at the beginning of the course, for example
when discussing recording devices and preparing for the first elicitation
session. But the ethics sections should also be read early on, as notions
of informed consent and the appropriate treatment of consultants are
very important in ethical fieldwork. Chapter 13 should be read early on
if you are going to the field. I’ve included it towards the end of the book
because in most field methods classes students do not look at previously
recorded materials on the language, but if you are going to the field you
will want to prepare as thoroughly as possible.
In an effort to keep the size of this book manageable, I have kept
discussion of topics intentionally short. This means that many areas
of field research are treated in pages or paragraphs where they would
warrant a book to themselves. Readers are encouraged to make use of the
suggestions for further reading.
1.2
1.2.1
What is the ‘field’ and what is ‘fieldwork’?
First principles
Our discipline’s stereotype of the fieldworker seems to be some rugged
individual who spends large amounts of time in remote jungles or on
tropical islands, working with speakers of ‘exotic’ languages. The fieldworker lives a life of deprivation and austerity, comforted and nourished
by weird insects and by the satisfaction that they are preserving a knowledge system for humanity. Rubbish. Fieldwork (and not just linguistic
fieldwork) is about collecting data in its natural environment. It is not
about how tough the linguist is. When biologists go to the ‘field’, they
go to observe the behaviour of the species they are studying in its natural
environment rather than in cages in the lab. When archaeologists go to
the ‘field’, they are going to where the bones and ruins are, as opposed
to studying something that has already been dug up. And likewise, when
linguists go to the field, they too are going to study the natural environment for their object of study – that is, they go to study a language in the
place where it is spoken, by the people who usually speak it.
Of course, it’s not quite that easy. Linguists don’t just ‘dig up’ the
grammar of a language to put it in a grammar book. We work with real
people, and become part of the data collection process ourselves (cf.
Hyman 2001). But the definition of ‘fieldwork’ should not come from
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how tough the linguist is; rather, it comes from a) the linguist’s interaction with speakers and b) the extent to which the linguist is able to
engage with a speech community. By using such a definition, the difference between ‘doing fieldwork’ and ‘working on a language’ is made
clearer.
1.2.2
What do fieldworkers do?
Fieldwork is not just about linguistic data. A fieldworker wears many hats.
One hat does involve data collection – that is, there are established techniques for obtaining linguistic data (which are discussed in this book).
The fieldworker doesn’t only collect data as it falls from the sky, though.
There is more to data gathering than just asking questions. Decisions
need to be made as to what to record, what to collect and what to write
down. Then data must be interpreted. How do you know that your data
answers your original research questions? Is a sentence ungrammatical
for the reason you think it is? How will you decide between the three
possible hypotheses that explain a particular data point? This is where
your previous linguistic training comes in. You also need some way to
organise your data effectively. Unless you have a photographic memory
and can do corpus searches in your head, you will need some method
of categorising, coding and storing the information you collect – that is,
you’ll need a database hat. Even if you do have a photographic memory,
you’ll want your collection to be useful to others, and so you’ll still need
a way to organise and catalogue your materials.
Another hat the fieldworker wears is that of administrator and community liaison officer. Community-linguist interactions tend to consume a
large proportion of a fieldworker’s energy. You will need to organise ways
to pay your consultants for their time, you will need housing and food
at the field site, and you will need to administer your grant monies and
keep appropriate records. Furthermore, you will need to arrange appropriate dissemination of your research results within your field community. Fieldworkers are also sound engineers and film directors. You will
be making audio (and maybe video) recordings of your consultants, and
you need to be able to operate your recording equipment effectively.
Fieldwork involves not just getting the data but getting it ethically,
without violating local customs. Fieldworkers need an ethics hat too –
the process of going to a community to work on a previously undescribed language has non-linguistic implications. Could harm result
from your working on the language? Does the community approve the
writing of their language? Do speakers mind being recorded? Perhaps
you are working with the last few fluent speakers of a language; do you
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have an obligation to provide teaching materials, learner’s guides and
dictionaries, even if they might not be used and younger members of
the community are not interested?
Fieldworkers have an anthropological hat (or pith helmet?) as well.
It’s impossible to do fieldwork of any length without also (consciously
or unconsciously) observing human interaction and cultural practices.
Learning about the culture of the speakers whose language you are
studying is vital, not only as a key to the language but also as a key to
better fieldwork. For example, you are unlikely to get good data in a
field session involving both men and women if the culture has strong
prohibitions against men and women interacting!
Fieldworkers have their own hats too. They need to be aware of their
own behaviour in the field and how it reflects on them and their culture.
They are also required to fit in with a new society and learn a new
language, while retaining contact with their other lives as academics.
Fieldworkers don’t leave behind their own identities and culture when
they go to the field. This is why there is much more to linguistic fieldwork than just turning up to record someone!
Fieldwork is not done in a vacuum. While it is good practice to rely
only on your elicitation in a field methods class, in the field you need
as much information about the language and culture as you can find.
Make the most of available resources so you are not duplicating the
efforts of others. There is further discussion of this in Chapter 13. Many
fieldworkers also have an epigrapher’s hat too, so they can decipher the
handwriting of other researchers.
1.2.3
Why do linguists do fieldwork?
Many linguists do fieldwork in the first place because of the personal
satisfaction they get from it, from the intellectual satisfaction of working
out original complex problems, to use the language to research culture, to
help gain political recognition for a traditionally oppressed community,
or perhaps at a more personal level to make some old people very happy
that their language will be recorded for future generations. Perhaps they
go to the field because there is no other way to get the data they need.
Any particular person’s reasons to do fieldwork are probably a combination of motives. Whatever the reason, it’s important that there be one
(or more than one) – doing fieldwork because you feel you have to is a
bad reason. However, perhaps in the field you will discover reasons that
you didn’t know about before you went.
Fieldwork (and associated analysis and documentation) feeds into
many different areas of linguistics. On the one hand there is the
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descriptive element of field research – adding to what we know about
the languages of the world. Recently (cf. Himmelmann 1998) there
has been a movement to treat language documentation as a subfield
of linguistics in its own right. Then there’s what we do with the documentary materials, such as reference grammars, dictionaries and other
primarily empirically descriptive materials. Then there’s what we do with
those grammars, such as typology, theory and so on. Fieldworkers also
conduct more specialised research in areas such as semantics, discourse,
phonetics, phonology, syntax or morphology. Then there are all the
ways that language research feeds into cultural theory, anthropology
and the study of language in society. Fieldworkers have specialisations
in all these areas.
1.2.4
Fieldwork and experimental linguistics
There is more than one way of viewing the practice of fieldwork.1 One
is as a type of experimentation; the linguist conducts ‘experiments’ on
language consultants to obtain data. The questions asked by the linguist
form the sole means of data gathering and shape the form the record of
the language will take. Abbi’s (2001) manual of linguistic fieldwork focuses
on this type of fieldwork, as does Bouquiaux and Thomas (1992).
Focusing on this view of field linguistics allows us to treat linguistics on a par with other experimental disciplines. For example, when
psychologists do research, they design the experiment first, recruit the
‘subjects’ and run the tests, usually without the subjects knowing why
the experiment is being conducted or having a say in its design. The
experimenter has sole control over the data flow. Traditional ethnographic and linguistic fieldwork also follows this model, where the
researcher goes to the field, makes their observations and conducts their
(often informal) experiments, and then leaves to write up the results.
There is, however, an alternative view, where the work is a collaborative effort between the linguist and the language speaker(s). Speakers
have a much greater say in what gets recorded, what materials are
produced and what happens to the materials afterwards. The linguist in
this situation is, in fact, a ‘consultant’ to the community – the ‘community’ has a problem to be solved, and they bring in a person with expert
knowledge.
This second type of fieldwork has more uncertainty and takes some
of the power away from the linguist. If the community doesn’t like the
idea of your making spectrograms, there is not a lot to be done about it –
or if you go ahead and make them anyway, you run the risk of placing
future research in jeopardy. The second view binds you to several ethical
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systems: your university’s (and your own culture’s) and the system of
the community in which you’re working. The two will not always be in
agreement (see §11.6). This type of fieldwork requires the negotiation
(and renegotiation) of both the processes of fieldwork and the outcomes.
Some argue against this view, saying that ‘the bottle of sulphuric acid
does not have a say in the type of research a chemist does’ (Cameron
et al. 1992:14–15). The simple answer to this is that the chemist is not
doing research involving a sentient being who has a vested interest in
both the process and the outcomes of the research. Put simply, language
scientists do not have carte blanche to conduct research on whatever
and whomever they want, without regard to the wishes and well-being
of their research participants and respect for the history of interaction
between that community and science.2
Much of the resentment caused by linguists/anthropologists in the
field is probably the result of the community expecting a ‘consultant’
who will help them (i.e. a ‘Type II’ researcher) and the linguist expecting
to be a ‘Type I’ researcher or experimenter. A wholesale pursuit of the
linguist’s aims at the expense of any community input will simply
continue to promote mistrust of researchers. Academics are used to
putting their research first, above other commitments, but not everyone
shares the same set of priorities. Furthermore, many people do not know
what linguists really do. The general public assumes that ‘a linguist’ is
just someone who speaks lots of languages (or someone who will tell
other people how to speak correctly). They might be disappointed that
what linguists actually do isn’t what they thought it was. Such views can
be surprisingly difficult to dislodge.
Community negotiation does not imply that the data collection has
to be less rigorous or that you cannot negotiate appropriate permissions
for doing the type of research you want or need to do. It may take time
to get started, and you may need to do some extra work, but there is no
reason that you should not be able to do the academic work you want
to.3 Some fieldwork is bound to be ‘experimental’ in nature in that you
have set up a project which aims to confirm or disprove a particular
hypothesis in a way that is replicable. To do that you may need to
record a particular number of people or extract information in a particular way. There is no reason to suppose that this is not possible with
community consultation as well.4 Of course, this discussion supposes
that the community will be interested in such a collaboration. It may
be that the community is happy that the linguist wishes to work on
(or learn) the language and does not wish to shape the products of the
research.
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1.2.5
7
Field research and impartiality
It is part of the scientific method that the linguist/researcher is not
personally involved in the experiment in a way that might influence
the outcome. Part of the scientific method is removing potentially
confounding variables (including experimenter-induced bias) in order
to isolate the most probable cause of a particular effect. In most types of
linguistic fieldwork, however, there is no such thing as a double-blind
experiment. The researcher is actively involved in guiding the results
of the fieldwork. The fieldworker responds to data as it is collected,
reshaping hypotheses and working out the next set of questions to ask.
The fieldworker has a vested interest in getting the data in the first place;
they may or may not also have an interest in getting a certain answer to
a particular question.
Furthermore, the linguist will usually be personally involved in some
way in the community. Fieldwork involves working closely with people,
and a better personal relationship between the linguist and the consultants will result in better data collection. In some areas the linguist is
adopted into the community, given a place in the kinship system and by
being entrusted with linguistic knowledge is expected to make a commitment to that language and to the people who speak it. The linguist may
also be involved in the non-linguistic lives of their consultants.
Even if you do your best to remain ‘detached’ and impartial and uninvolved in the research, your consultants probably aren’t going to do the
same. They are going to shape their responses based on their relationship to you, for example, how well they think you’re going to understand what they tell you, or what they think you want to hear, or in
some cases, what they think you don’t want to hear. They might have an
emotional or political stake in the outcome of the research (just as you
do). So, completely ‘impartial’ fieldwork is impossible. But you can be
aware of some of the potential biases and minimise them.
1.2.6
A definition of fieldwork
So, after all that, what is optimal ‘fieldwork’? My definition is rather broad.
It involves the collection of accurate data from language speakers in an
ethical manner. It involves producing a result which both the community and the linguist approve of. That is, the ‘community’ (the people
who are affected by your being there collecting data) should know why
you’re there, what you’re doing, and they should be comfortable with
the methodology and the outcome. You should also be satisfied with the
arrangements. The third component involves the linguist’s interacting
with a community of speakers at some level. That is, fieldwork involves
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doing research in a place where the language is spoken, not finding a
speaker at your university and eliciting data from them (see also Hyman
2001: 16–22).5
There are several underspecified concepts in my definition. The first
is the ‘community’. Minimally, the community is the group of people
who are affected by your data collection; they are the people to whom
you are responsible in collaborative fieldwork. For some languages, this
community may simply be the individual speakers you are working
with. In other areas it may also include their families; it may even
include most (or all) of the people who own or speak the language. In
general, the more endangered the language and the smaller the group,
the greater the proportion of the speech community you will need
to consult.
The second ill-defined concept is the ‘language’. No language
is without variation and even languages with few speakers may be
very diverse (cf. Dorian 1994). Therefore which variety or varieties
of the language you describe will also be important, and may require
negotiation. One variety might be more prestigious than another,
or lects might differ greatly depending on the age, class or gender
of its speakers. Cysouw and Good (2013) have introduced the term
‘doculect’ to refer to the variety of the ‘language’ that ends up in the
documentation.
Thirdly, ‘approving of the outcome’ might mean quite different things
in different communities at different times. It might mean that the
‘community’ has no stipulations regarding your research. Or it might
mean they want copies of the results, such as an offprint of articles or a
copy of your PhD dissertation. Alternatively, they may want to be active
participants in the process of deciding what the final products of your
research are. Producing final products that everyone is happy with is
important. Making a good impression can have positive results for other
linguists in neighbouring communities, and negative impressions can
hamper the research of others and reduce the possibilities for your own
fieldwork in future. People are also more likely to help you if they have
a genuine stake in the outcome.
Part of how we define fieldwork also depends on what methods are
used. In this book I discuss a model which balances elicitation (i.e. asking
structured questions about the language) with data collection by other
methods, including free conversation, narratives and interviewing.
There are other types of linguistic fieldwork. Some fieldworkers don’t use
a contact language and work in the fieldwork language from the beginning. Others gather most (if not all) of their data through elicitation.
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Some people stay in the same village for 20 years, while others visit a
different one each week and survey an entire region.
There is some disagreement in the field about the extent to which
quasi-ethnographic fieldwork on previously undescribed languages is
similar to sociolinguistic interviewing, the acquisition of discourse data
and ‘qualitative studies’ in anthropology. There are more similarities
than people sometimes think. Whether you are working on variation in
Quebecois syntax or writing the first description of Xish, you will need
to be conscious of ethics and the way your data collection methods influence the results of your research. You will need to be familiar with your
equipment (which is likely to be similar), and you will need to be aware
of how your place in the community influences your data. Moreover,
the differences in field sites in various parts of the world probably dwarf
the differences between intra-linguistic methods. Fieldworkers have a
lot to lose by defining their activities too narrowly, and there is a lot to
learn from other data-rich linguistic fields (although for a different view,
see Crowley 2007: ix).
1.2.7
Fieldwork and language learning
Learning a language is a little different from analysing a language in
order to write about it. One can attain functional fluency in a language
without ever consciously mastering the morphology and syntax, and
likewise one can have an excellent understanding of the workings of
a language without being able to make use of that knowledge to put a
sentence together in real time.
Spending time learning your field language to speak it might seem
like a waste of time. After all, linguists spend a great deal of time telling
people that linguistics is not the same as language learning. Shouldn’t
you be working on your paper/article/dissertation, rather than memorising vocabulary? However, for fieldwork there are numerous advantages
to being fluent in the language you are studying. One is that in order to
write a grammar of a language you have to construct sophisticated theories about how the language works, and in order for you to make yourself understood in the language you have to put those hypotheses into
practice. I’ve discovered many things about the languages I’ve worked
on through the mistakes I’ve made while talking, as well as through
making guesses that turned out to be right.
Speaking the language increases your control over the data. You will
have a larger vocabulary (increasing transcription ease), a better idea
about social factors of language use, and therefore a better conception
of why particular sentences might be infelicitous. You will develop
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intuitions about the language which you can then test. Hale (2001:
81–82), along with several other authors in Newman and Ratlif (2001),
makes the point that becoming fluent in the field language produces
a richer and more accurate description. Hale’s way of putting it is ‘do
whatever you can in order to learn the language.’ Being a ‘language
learner’ can be a community role, as Nagy (2000) points out. She was
often introduced to new potential consultants as ‘the American who
wants to learn Faetar.’ Being a language learner can be a role in the field
community that others can relate to and help with.
Finally, quite apart from the personal satisfaction that comes from
learning to speak another language well, knowing the language is very
useful for the non-linguistic aspects of fieldwork. In some parts of the
world it’s polite to talk to other people in ‘their’ language, especially
when you are a guest in their country. I found an excellent Bardi teacher
this way. She had heard that someone was learning Bardi, but she didn’t
believe it. No one has learnt Bardi as a first or a second language for
60 years. So, she came up to me in the community shop one day and
started testing me by asking questions in Bardi. I was able to respond, and
we soon became friends. We worked together a lot after that. Another
example of why learning the language is important involves less happy
circumstances. In 2004 my main Bardi teacher had a stroke, and I called
her in hospital. We were speaking Bardi because she couldn’t communicate in English.
1.3
The term ‘informant’
There are various opinions as to what to call the person who is teaching
you their language. Some are happy with the term ‘informant’. Others
feel that this term carries unnecessary overtones of ‘police informer’ and
moreover downplays the role and importance of the language teacher.
In this book I am using the term ‘consultant(s)’. This term has the
connotation of an expert who is consulted for specialised information
about a particular topic. In some areas, consultant has negative connotations (it’s equivalent to ‘highly paid blow-in’). Others (e.g. Hinton 2002)
use ‘teacher’ or ‘speaker’; another term is ‘language helper’ (although, to
be honest, I find this a bit patronising). ‘Research participant’ is another
useful neutral term, particularly when talking to ethics boards.
Fieldwork is not like library research. You cannot simply ‘look up’ the
answer in the brain of a speaker of the language. Whatever you call your
consultants, remember that they aren’t simply data sources. They aren’t
books, to be opened, read and returned when finished.
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1.4
11
Fieldwork and ‘theory’
For every view of the field, there are also opinions on the place of fieldwork in linguistics and its relationship to other branches of the field.
Opinions appear to cluster around a dichotomy between theoretical
(or theory-oriented) and empirical research. This division is not at all
confined to linguistics. It’s a point also made in Barnard’s (2000) history
of anthropology, and one finds it too in ‘pure’ versus ‘applied’ disciplines such as mathematics and physics.
For various reasons, the theoretical/empirical (fieldworker) divide in
linguistics is also broadly correlated with the formalism/functionalism
divide these days. There are many formalist fieldworkers (as well as functionalist theoreticians). The most famous formalist fieldworker was probably the late Ken Hale, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
but Sapir, Boas and Bloomfield were also ‘theoreticians’ in their time, as
well as documenters of Native American languages.
We also find a rather unhelpful set of comments from prominent
fieldworkers along the lines of ‘the data speak for themselves, theory
is useless, spend enough time with the data and you will come up with
the right answer’. Abbi (2001:3), for example, writes that ‘theory binds
the fieldworker’s hands,’ and Dixon (1997) draws a firm line between
the armchair formalists and the field linguists. There seems to be a
competing feeling that linguistic fieldwork is like library research and
requires no special training. My view is much closer to Rice (2001). The
theory/data divide is at best unhelpful and at worst dangerous. In short,
it prevents empirical people from asking the best questions of their
data, and it encourages theory people to model what they like without
adequate testing.
The most common argument is articulated in Abbi (2001:3) – theory
‘binds one’s hands,’ and the only way to write an unbiased description
is to be theory neutral. This argument is specious. ‘Theory’ is inherent
in research. As soon as anyone uses a metalanguage for natural language
description, they are making choices, categorising and labelling their
data. That is, describing linguistic behaviour cannot be done without
forming hypotheses about how the language works. A phoneme is a
theoretical construct, as is a lexical category. There’s no such thing as a
theory-neutral or atheoretical linguistic description.
The next argument concerns a quotation from Sherlock Holmes (e.g.
A Scandal in Bohemia) – ‘it is a capital mistake, Watson, to theorise before
one has data.’ That is, like Holmes, proponents of this argument dislike
purely theory-internal motivations for analyses or assumptions based
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on very little evidence. However, Holmes makes several comments
about method and evidence. For example, he states (in the Hound of the
Baskervilles, ch 6), that Watson’s task is just to observe and not to draw
conclusions; he claims that Watson won’t be able to make any sense of
what he sees because he has no theory to structure the facts on. That
is, trying to model reality in the absence of data is not very likely to
produce a good model, but a framework is needed to interpret observations. Elsewhere (in the short story ‘Silver Blaze’) Holmes talks about
constructing a theory on the initial data and being ready to alter it as
necessary, as more facts come to light. This is, I would argue, the sense
in which ‘theory’ is most relevant to fieldwork.
Rather than ‘tying one’s hands’, ‘theory’ provides ideas on where to
look for data and what to test. Using a coherent theoretical framework of
any sort will allow you to make testable predictions. Here is an example
from my own fieldwork. I did my PhD on the verb morphology of the
northern Australian language Bardi (Bowern 2004), and in working
on the syntax I spent a lot of time reading about nonconfigurational
polysynthesis and the expected behaviour of such languages. I used the
Morphological Visibility Criterion in Mohawk (Baker 1996) to formulate tests for the equivalent behaviour in Bardi syntax. In designing
tests for Bardi, I had to think a lot about the principles of Bardi syntax,
what would be a good test, what a meaningful answer to my questions
would be and why certain sentences might be ungrammatical. The
predictions were not borne out for Bardi, and I never would have asked
those questions if I hadn’t read Baker (1996). As a result we know a
great deal more about the fine workings of many parts of Bardi syntax
than we would have otherwise, as well as a better understanding of the
relationship between nonconfigurationality and polysynthesis. Evans’
(2003) grammar of Bininj Gun-wok arose under similar circumstances:
through testing various theoretical predictions and through gaps in
other descriptions. In short: don’t let ‘theory-neutral’ be a euphemism
for ‘superficial’.
We also need more theory-oriented research on so-called less familiar
languages. Whether we are looking for a flexible architecture for grammatical description or for the set of universal categories expressed by
human languages, most of our models are heavily oriented towards
certain types of well-described languages with large numbers of speakers.
Do your part to change that!
It’s obvious from the previous paragraphs that ‘theory’ and ‘description’ are not (or should not be) mutually exclusive. Fieldwork is about
discovery and asking questions. But you need to know what questions
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13
to ask. What you ask will be guided by what you want or expect to find,
and this is determined to a large extent by your training, your experience and the theory with which you work. Be aware of that, and use it to
your advantage. You don’t need to subscribe to the tenets of a particular
theory or model of language in order to use it – the important thing is
to recognise how your model leads you to ask certain types of questions.
Working within a theory (as we all do) does not preclude open-mindedness, as Mithun (2001) and Rice (2001) make very clear.
Finally, a note is warranted about documentation goals. As Eira (2009:
308) points out, there is a tension in conducting fieldwork between
documenting what ‘is said’ as well as what ‘could be’ said. That is, some
feel that the primary goal of language documentation is to describe the
constraints on the grammatical system that generate observable utterances in the language, while others place more emphasis on documentation as a way to work out how speakers use language to communicate
with each other about their lives. This distinction is, of course, at the
heart of distinctions between generative and functional approaches
to all of linguistics, not just to fieldwork. A full documentation would
cover both, not only the workings of the linguistic system but the limits
of that system, and how that system is used by speakers in their interactions with others.
1.5
Fieldwork and identity
Various researchers have discussed the metamorphosis that fieldworkers
undergo when in the field, and the possible crises of identity that result.
Abbi (2001: 2–3), for example, says that a fieldworker should ‘almost
forget his/her identity’, and that good fieldwork involves keeping only
‘ONE’ [sic] aim in mind; that is, to forget everything except data collection and analysis.’ The older anthropological literature tends towards
a somewhat similar view. Evans-Pritchard (1973: 2–3) discusses the
suspension of the fieldworker’s identity, the subordination of identity
and the potential damage that temporary or permanent loss of identity
can cause. Macaulay (2005) makes a similar point.
This is probably related to the status of fieldwork in linguistics. There
is a theme in cultural anthropology (and to a certain extent in linguistics too) on fieldwork being one of the sacra of the discipline. That is,
there is a perception that doing fieldwork is part of the identity of being
a linguist of a certain type, and thus there is pressure to conform to a
set of identity tropes. One is the rugged Indiana Jones-like character.
Another (equally, if more objectionable) trope is the linguist as saviour
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of a culture. This one is particularly favoured by journalists writing on
endangered languages.
Fieldwork involves a peculiar displacement: the fieldworker is
displaced from their own community and culture, and is sent to think
analytically about another social and linguistic system. They suspend
participation in the norms of their own culture, and are yet not a wholesale participant in the other. Standing against the loss of identity that
results from displacement to a new culture is the new identity that the
fieldworker constructs (and has constructed for them) by participation
in their field site.
I suspect that both of those ideas are wrong. That is, a good fieldworker doesn’t lose their identity, but a good fieldworker doesn’t remain
unchanged by their experiences either. A successful fieldworker can
compartmentalise – partition, as it were – identities, ideas and social
practices. It may, at times, be necessary to consider views that are mutually contradictory. Some fieldworkers find this disorienting, while others
enjoy the illusion of multiple lives.
Macaulay (2005) notes that fieldworkers tend to romanticise their
field experiences. That is, we say that it’s not a real field site unless it
has no electricity or running water and the intrepid linguist runs across
at least three deadly species before their breakfast of witchetty grubs
and hand-slaughtered crocodile. It’s certainly true that field linguists
at conferences tend to swap stories about the gruesome things they’ve
eaten and the near-death experiences they’ve had (one fieldworker has
a section on his curriculum vitae for diseases he’s caught in the field).
That sort of field site is not for everyone, but there’s no rule of fieldwork
that says that you have to rough it like Indiana Jones in order to be a
real linguist or fieldworker.6 Going to live among speakers of another
language, with a different culture, is going to be disruptive to you, to
put it mildly. You might not be able to get your favourite foods, and
depending on where you go, you might not be able to rely on electricity
or a decent supply of fresh food, or you might not be able to remain
vegetarian or keep kosher. Fieldwork is not something to be undertaken at a whim. It is often emotionally intense, and can be physically
dangerous. Depending on where you go, you may need to be prepared
for the possibility of a serious illness or accident. Some linguists find it
very unsettling and would never do fieldwork if there were any other
way of getting the data they need. However, fieldwork is also intellectually exciting and offers the chance for many unique experiences as a
guest in another culture.
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In their review of the first edition of this book, Rogers and Campbell
(2008: 394–395) suggest that my overall depiction of fieldwork is
overly negative. Perhaps if we remove Indiana Jones from the pedestal
of ‘archetypical fieldworker’, we run the risk of replacing him with a
figure such as Malinowski. Although widely regarded as the ‘father of
anthropological fieldwork’, he (according to the evidence of his field
diaries) was miserable in the Trobriand Islands, intensely disliking both
the living conditions and the people he worked with. That would be a
shame. But the Indiana Jones model is objectionable too; it emphasises
the personal glory of and danger to the fieldworker, while caricaturing
both the research participants and the others who work with the fieldworker. It might be good entertainment, but it isn’t science. Fieldwork is
fun, and it’s incredibly rewarding. But it’s also difficult.
1.6
Who’s working on the language?
For most of this book, I am assuming that there will be a single linguist
working in the field site at once, although other linguists may have
worked on the language in the past. I do this for the most part because
I think it’s a good idea for a field linguist to be self-sufficient in their
methods as far as possible, and to feel at home gathering data in a number
of different areas of linguistics, especially when first beginning language
documentation work. However, for some parts of the world, it is increasingly common for linguists to work as teams, either with other linguists
in joint field trips, or as part of community organisations. Working with
a team allows the linguist to focus on specific aspects of the research,
and in many cases allows for a much more thorough documentation.
For example, teaming up with an ethnobiologist to document flora and
fauna is likely to produce a much better description of that domain.
Another assumption I make here is that the linguist is an outsider to
the community that they are working with. This is also increasingly inaccurate, as speakers of endangered languages do more work on their own
languages (and, of course, it has always been true for larger languages
that native speakers have done linguistic work). As yet, however, there
is little written about this topic. Nevertheless, many of the same issues
apply whether the linguist is a member of the community or not: the
need to balance linguistic and community goals, ways of working with
speakers, how to form hypotheses and test them, for example, are all
relevant whether or not the linguist is also a member of the community
they are working with.
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1.7
1.7.1
Summary and further reading
Summary
Several ideas about fieldwork inform this book. First is that the documentation of a language and linguistic description/analysis are not
mutually exclusive (cf. Himmelmann 1996) and cannot be done independently. Secondly, an adequate description of a language will need
to utilise a variety of methods, including (but not limited to) elicitation. A comprehensive description and documentation of a language
will benefit from creativity and variety, and well as depth in a particular
type of data collection.
A further theme is the building of trust between the linguist and their
language consultants. I do not subscribe to the idea that linguistic work
is purely experimentation and that research participants in documentary/descriptive linguistic fieldwork have no say in the research process.
They are stakeholders as much as the linguist is, particularly if the
language is endangered. Finally, I stress an interdisciplinary approach,
even in cases where the data gathering might be targeted at a specific
area. The greater your general awareness of techniques and pitfalls, the
better your fieldwork will be.
1.7.2
Further reading
Links to websites and updated suggestions for further reading will be
given on the website which accompanies this book.
●
●
●
●
●
Experimentation: Cameron et al. (1992), and Kibrik (1977). See also
Rieschild (2003), Stebbins (2003), Wilkins (1992) and the papers in
Podesva and Sharma (2014).
Ethnography/Anthropological fieldwork: Agar (1996), Bernard
(2006), Ellen (1984: Ch3), Fife (2005) and Chelliah (2014). See also
Clifford and Marcus (1986) and Duranti (2001).
Fieldwork in sociolinguistics: Milroy (1980,1987), Coupland and
Jaworski (1997:Part II), Feagin (2004) and Johnstone (2000).
Language documentation: Himmelmann (1996, 1998) and
Woodbury (2003).
Other field methods books: Abbi (2001), Bouquiaux and Thomas
(2001), Chelliah and de Reuse (2010), Crowley (2007), Everett (2007),
Sakel and Everett (2012), Gippert et al. (2006), Newman and Ratliff
(2001), Thieberger (2011) and Vaux and Cooper (1999). Earlier works:
Samarin (1967), Craig (1979), Kibrik (1977), Hale (1965) and Nida
(1947).
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●
17
Role of theory: Singleton and Straits (2005: ch 10) and Green and
Morgan (1996).
Interdisciplinary fieldwork: Thieberger (2011) contains a number
of chapters aimed at getting language data in an interdisciplinary
context (for example, for anthropological, ethnomusicological or
ethnobiological research).
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Index
abbreviations, 52, 68, 69, 172, 210
accent (dialect), 42, 43, 100, 133, 258,
265
accent (phonetics), see stress
access, 18, 58, 66, 138, 159, 171, 176,
201, 206–212, 223, 225, 228,
230–231, 245
restrictions, 207–208, 230
web materials, 225
accommodation, 158, 195
accusative case, 75, 86–87
acknowledgment, 200
Acoma, 81
acoustics, 45, 73, 76, 79
activism, 180, 181
added value, 71, 98
administration, 38, 142, 191
adpositional phrases, 238
adverbs, 111, 238
affricates, 44
Afghanistan, 152
Africa, 81, 160
African Language Material Archive, 70
age, 8, 48, 67, 114, 152, 160, 163, 225,
253
agreement, 6, 88, 91–93, 138, 153,
169, 238, 267
Aktionsart, 111
Alaska Native Language Center, 70
allative case, 40, 106
alliteration, 42
allomorphy, 68, 116, 157
allophony, 43–44, 47, 83, 221, 236
alphabet, 218
books, 215
order, 39, 123, 211, 219, 226
see also orthography
ambient noise, see noise
ambiguity, 39, 49, 66
and consultants, 182
and description, 94, 192, 215, 232,
260
and grammaticality, 120
animacy, 94, 102, 109, 114, 240
animals, 125, 161, 163, 226
annotation, 51, 54, 62, 68, 136
anonymity, 70, 171–172, 199–201,
203, 242
anthropology, 1, 5, 9, 11–13, 102, 184,
256, 263
literature, 180
see also ethnography
antibiotics, 160
antipassive, 93, 114, 118, 239
antiseptic, 159, 161, 255
antonyms, 122, 124
apologies, 40
applicatives, 103, 113, 118
approval, 37, 142, 167–168, 174, 191,
202, 203, 257
archaeology, 2, 176
archival copies, 197
archiving, 1, 27, 54, 61, 69–71, 165,
171–172, 200, 202, 208, 213, 252,
265
access, 171–172, 206, see also
access
added value, 71
archival copies, 197
consent, 202
data formats, 23
digital, 71
ethics, 171
online, 206
permission, 213
procedures, 192, 196
restrictions, 180
argument structure, 40, 86–87, 92,
110, 239
Armenian, 116, 128
artefacts, 75, 92, 125, 156
articulation, 43–45, 78–79, 149, 219,
236
Asia, 16, 39, 81, 160, 256
aspect, 86, 237–238
aspiration, 43, 44, 80
273
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274 Index
audience, 33, 68, 134, 135, 151, 153,
211, 221, 227, 230
audition sheets, 57, 70
Australia, 39, 48, 146–147, 172–173,
259–261, 266, 270
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Studies, 70
background noise, 19, 20, 23–26,
30–32, 36, 43, 135
see also noise
back-translation, 88, 90, 100
backup, 21, 22, 26, 27, 37, 56, 72, 135,
147, 164, 195, 252
equipment, 22
Bardi, 12, 46–48, 69, 112–113, 188,
257–260
basic materials, 47, 232
basic vocabulary, 39, 228, 235, 248
batteries, 21, 28–29, 33–35, 163, 196,
246
Belfast, 152
bias, 7, 75, 102, 114, 131, 251
bibliographies, 206
bilingualism, 98, 120, 227
Bininj Gun–wok, 12
biology, 2
bit depth, 20
Bloomfield, Leonard, 11
Boas, Frans, 11
body parts, 124–125, 228, 234
boredom, 75, 101, 106, 150, 154
borrowing, 101, 124
see also loanwords
Brazil, 148
brownouts, 21
budgets, 55, 146, 190–197, 209
roll–over funds, 197
cables, 22, 26, 147, 246
calquing, 101, 232
camera, 32, 33, 79, 246, 252
see also video
camping, 158– 60, 184
capacity building, 233
card file, 60, 123
carrier phrase, 75, 85, 97
case, 40, 75, 110–114, 129–130, 238
cash, 182, 183, 257
causative constructions, 93, 113, 239
ceremonial language, see religion
charcoal, 78–79
checklist, 35, 51, 104, 235, 237, 244,
253
children’s books, 94, 107
children’s stories, 133
Choctaw, 219, 264
cholera, 160
chunking, 141
citation
form, 93, 99, 105, 229
of sources, 206, 214
tone, 77, 81
classes (for field methods), 1–2, 34,
46, 65, 72, 81, 88–89, 100, 117,
142–144, 223, 242
classifiers, 239
clefting, 240
clipping, 22, 35, 40, 252
see also recording, clipping
clitics, 116, 118, 220
clothes, 25, 33, 161, 163–164
clusters, 46, 83, 220, 236
coarticulation, 76
code-switching, 138
coercion, 201–202
cold, 21, 31–33, 145, 159, 248
collaboration, 6, 142, 174, 198, 251,
266
colleagues, 38, 91, 119, 143, 200, 232
collections, 58, 65, 104, 215, 223
collector metadata, 66
collocations, 132
colloquial language, 139
community, 3–10, 14–15, 21, 28, 33,
76, 95, 134, 143, 149, 150, 161,
172, 178, 180, 184–193, 210,
215–217, 222–233
activism, 180
contribution to, 192, 215, 216
definition of, 8, 217
expectations of, 6, 222
interaction with, 3
repatriation of materials to, 209
tensions, 158
community radio, 132
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compensation, see payment
complements, 238
complex predicates, 240
complex structures, 235
complexity, 87, 132, 134, 235
compound, 240
compression, 20, 33
computer files, 55, 71
computers, 28–30, 96, 211, 218
concordance, 115, 254
condenser, 23
conditioning, 49, 75, 83, 116, 220
confidentiality, 200
conflict of interest, 177–178
confusion, 97, 100, 107
conjugation, 107, 109, 124
consent, 167–168, 170–174, 199–203
data use, 174
informed, 2, 38, 170–174, 199, 201
written, 199
consistency, 220
consonant harmony, 83, 236
consonants, 44, 46, 78, 79, 82, 236
pharyngeal, 177
consultants, 1–7, 10, 25, 28–29,
33–34, 61, 65–67, 76, 89, 99–103,
120, 123, 142–165, 171, 178, 182,
185, 194, 201, 208, 213, 224, 231
acknowledgment, 172
being stood up, 153
choice of, 148
and education, 179
elderly, 146, 199
interaction with, 154
intuitions, 103
metadata, 95
monolingual, 76, 120
multiple, 92, 194
recruitment, 199
as teachers, 10
consultation, 6, 137, 155, 172, 218
consumables, 196
see also media
contact language, 8, 39, 62, 66,
98–101, 109, 123, 126, 133,
155–156
context, 61, 82, 91, 97–98, 106, 109,
112, 130, 156
275
contradiction, 154, 176
controlled creative tasks, 94
conversation, 8, 23–24, 90, 94, 122,
130, 131–149, 153–154, 170–171,
209, 227
converses, 122
coordination, 82, 113, 238
copular clauses, 118
copyright, 169, 213
core meaning, 129
corpora, 137, 215
corpus, 3, 60, 105, 107, 110, 132, 137,
141, 208
compilation, 137
size, 137
tagging, 216
corpus linguistics, 141
correction, 42, 55
cost, 22, 28, 150, 195, 196, 222, 255
creoles, 158
culmulative exponence, 92
cultural knowledge, 126, 172
culture, 4, 14, 27, 95, 103, 134, 142,
150–151, 156, 161–162, 164–165,
176–177, 179–180, 199
shock, 161–162, 165
stereotypes, 184
currency fluctuations, 197
customs, 3, 160, 164, 246
see also culture
danger, 14–15, 143–144, 163
see also risk
DAT, 19, 22
data, 1–15, 23, 33, 37, 40, 47–55,
59–61, 67–68, 70–72, 74, 82,
89–97, 103–104
management, 59
naturalistic, 139–140
negative, 90–91
organisation, 46
primary and secondary, 206
sources, 222
see also metadata
database, 3, 46, 56, 60, 68, 101, 123,
135, 147, 212–213, 226
death, 14, 187
decibels, 20
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276 Index
definiteness, 108, 109, 112, 238, 240
definitions, 120, 122, 125, 129–133,
206, 228, 237
vernacular, 125, 133
dehydration, 159–161
deixis, 27, 109, 118, 126, 240
DELAMAN, 70
demonstratives, 87, 238
derivation, 108–109, 129, 238
description, 9–12, 47, 84, 116, 118,
128–131, 144, 181, 192, 206, 212
techniques, 92
diacritics, 218
dialect, 66, 145, 155, 211, 214
variation, 222
dialogues, 140, 221
diarrhoea, 160
dictionaries, 4, 5, 56, 60, 126, 181,
215–216, 219, 226–228
audience, 226–227
audio, 226
electronic, 227
entries, 124
digital
audio, 19, 20, 60, 70, 225
data, 48
recording, 58
diglossia, 138, 139
digraphs, 218, 219
discourse, 5, 82, 112, 130–132,
138–140, 157, 222
chunking, 141
and ethnography, 8
genres, 132
markers, 157
particles, 139
word order, 112
written and spoken, 138
disease, 14, 160
disenfranchisement, 169, 176
dissertation, 9, 12, 55, 60, 68, 216
and archiving, 71, 197
format, 146, 192
distinctive segments, 236
distortion, 20, 25
Diyari, 133, 259
Djambarrpuyŋu, 138
doculect, 8, 100, 262
documentary linguistics, 4–5
documentation, 13, 27, 65, 135, 145,
158, 175, 182, 186, 199, 215–216,
223, 229
priorities, 47
double articulation, 45
dress, see clothes
dual, 39, 108, 110
duplicates, 209, 213
durability, 18, 22, 52, 54, 59
duration, 45, 75, 79–80, 83, 115, 195,
198
dust, 21, 29, 31, 248
DVDs, 31, 57, 196
dynamic, 30, 32, 153
ear infections, 25
editing, 29, 56, 60, 137, 138
education, 67, 97, 148, 150, 154, 156,
163, 202, 211, 227
ejectives, 44
Elan, 46, 68
electricity, 14, 21, 28, 144, 161
electrolytes, 161
electronic, 21, 29, 30, 70, 107, 227
elicitation, 1, 8, 30, 37–39, 48, 56, 62,
82, 85–120, 124, 129, 142, 153,
167, 174, 209, 221, 232
data manipulation, 93
first person, 99
grammaticality judgments, 90
lexical, 122
problems, 96
techniques, 103
textual, 133
empiricism, 11
encyclopaedias, 124, 228
endangered languages, 14, 47, 139,
143, 168, 172, 183, 185–187, 192,
200, 217
endangerment, 166
English, 10, 42–47, 69, 77–79, 98, 108,
115–116, 125–127, 132, 151, 186,
218, 221
engma [ŋ], 45
enthusiasm, 149, 177, 222
entries, 177, 226
envelopes, 51, 54
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Index
environment
natural, 2
phonemic, 40–41, 45, 75, 137, 220
recording, 20, 24, 81, 140
epenthesis, 46
equipment, 19–31, 34–38, 57, 68,
78–79, 144, 147, 182, 195–196
cables, 26
care, 30
checklist, 34
computers, 29
cost, 22
hard drives, 57
microphones, see microphone
PDAs, 29
recorders, 152
speakers, 26
stills cameras, 27
storage, 21, 30
testing, 34
video, 26
ergativity, 86, 110–111, 161
espionage, 181
ethical reasoning, 90
ethics, 2, 167–175, 191, 197–198,
201–202
archiving, 171
boards, 167, 197
recording, 169
ethnobotany, 174, 226
ethnography, 16, 124, 177, 181, 206
ethnophilosophy, 127
etymology, 124, 227
see also historical linguistics
evidence, 12, 15, 32, 41, 80, 83, 113,
116, 117, 178
example sentences, 89, 124, 209,
226
exceptions, 108, 116
exchange networks, 164
exchange rate, 197
exhausted community, 184, 264
exoticisation, 2, 176, 177
expansion, 232, 235
experiment, 5, 7, 74–77, 84, 95–96
design, 95
experimentation, 5, 6, 16, 176, 197,
251
277
fast speech phenomena, 136, 138
fatigue, see tiredness
fear, 161, 162, 248
feelings, 128, 150, 152, 162, 177, 185,
255, 256
field locations, 203
field methods, 1–4, 16, 143
classes, 2, 37, 46, 65, 81, 89, 91,
100, 142, 150, 257
fieldnotes, 46, 54, 61, 62, 66–71, 180,
185, 196, 206
archiving, 71
as log, 89
notebooks, 52
organisation, 54, 58
paper, 71
field sites, 9, 143, 144, 145
fieldwork, 1–17
collaboration, 5
definitions, 4
duration, 146
feelings, 185
identity, 4, 13–14
importance for community, 33
language learning, 10
and linguistic theory, 13
locations, 190
preparation, 52, 146
reasons for going, 4
starting of, 37
stereotypes, 2, 14, 149
stress, 187
fieldworkers, 1, 3–9, 11–15, 19, 32, 51,
159, 167, 177
resentment towards, 6
stereotypes, 13
file formats, 20
final reports, 197
finderlist, 124, 227
First Nations, 11, 148
first person, 99, 253
first work, 37–41
flora and fauna, 15, 124–125, 156,
196
fluency, 9, 39, 49, 120, 132, 133, 148,
152, 156, 221
focus, 15, 33, 80, 82, 132, 240
fonts, 43, 59, 70, 219, 227
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Index
food, 14, 96, 144, 153, 159–160, 179,
183–184
forensic linguistics, 187
fourth world, 183
frame, 75, 77, 81, 85, 97, 106, 111,
192, 200
frequency, 20, 25, 107, 108, 132
frequency response, 20, 25
frog stories, 95, 131, 133, 253
Fundação Nacional do Índio, 148
funding, 1, 147, 190–198
games, 83, 84, 94, 179, 259
gaps, 12, 41, 94, 105, 109, 110, 112,
117, 157, 211
Garlali, 100
gavagai problem, 98
gender, 8, 109, 151–152, 163, 172,
176, 179, 210
and consultants, 151
gender (grammatical), 109, 124
gender-specific material, 172
genealogy, 56
genocide, 187, 256
genre, 132, 133, 137, 138, 164
Georgia, 151
gesture, 26, 27, 141
Giardia, 160
gifts, 163–164, 255
glasses, 129, 164, 255
glossing, see interlinearisation
glottal stops, 45
glottalisation, 74
glyphs, 43, 218
GPS, 126
grammar, 12, 59, 69, 87, 104, 139,
157, 187, 221–223
grammar writing, 139
see also reference grammar
grammaticality, 82
judgements, 79, 88, 90, 156
prescriptive and descriptive rules, 91
grants, 171, 190, 191, 194–197
application submission, 191
institutions, 182, 197
management, 203
project description, 192
qualifications, 193
travel, 195
greetings, 39, 141
Guatemala, 95, 262
guesswork, 9
Gupapuyŋu, 138
Hale, Kenneth, 11
handwriting, 4, 43, 52, 61, 62, 211
Hans Rausing Endangered Languages
Documentation Project, 70
hard drives, 57
harm, 3, 83, 167, 178–179, 181, 197,
202
harmony, 83, 236
headphones, 20, 25–28, 32
headword, 123
health, 40, 159, 160, 161, 166, 195,
246
heat, 21
Hebrew, 218, 230, 231
hepatitis, 160
Hertz, 19, 20
highlighter, 54
historical linguistics, 101, 126, 176,
178, 232
HIV/AIDS, 160
Holmes, Sherlock, 11
homonymy, 129
homophony, 100, 128
housing, 3
HTML, 50, 71, 120
human subjects, 37, 191– 202
approval, 191
research on, 168
reviews, 198
waivers, 198
humidity, 21, 24, 30, 31, 144
humour, 96, 102, 133
hunter-gatherers, 125
hypocoristics, 83
hyponyms, 122, 124
hypothesis testing, 3, 7, 9, 41–42, 80,
87–88, 103–104, 116 142, 154,
179, 212–213
identification, 67, 82, 174
identity, 13, 14, 176, 180–181, 200
idioms, 133
illicit recording, 140, 170
illness, see disease
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Index
impartiality, 7, 181
imperatives, 82, 99, 238
incorporation, 241
index, 51, 222
India, 138, 152, 162
indirect speech, 99, 239
Indonesia, 138, 139
inflation, 197
inflection, 105, 109, 229
informant, 10
see also consultant
informed consent, see consent,
informed
insect, 32, 161
repellent, 160
instrumental case, 129
insults, 133
insurance, 194, 195
intellectual property, 58, 169, 202
intensity, 80
interference, 38, 170
inter-library loan, 205
interlinearisation, 30, 60, 68–69, 90,
123, 136, 212, 224
internet, 196, 201
interrogatives, 82, 239
interviewing, 8, 9, 90, 152, 224, 235
intonation, 75, 77, 81–82, 115, 130,
141, 222, 240
introductions, 39
intuitions, 10, 103, 153
inventory, 41, 46, 73, 85, 145
IPA, 30, 43, 46, 49, 218, 223, 232
Iran, 152
IRB, 167, 172, 199
irrealis, 100, 238
irregularity, 124
Jingulu, 157, 268
Jones, Indiana, 13–15, 251
Kabardian, 220, 261
Kalkatungu, 156, 260
keyboard mapping, 219
key words, 57, 134
kids, 145, 225
kinship, 7, 127, 254
knowledge sharing, 176
Kurdish, 200
279
labelling, 11, 37, 57, 208
labialisation, 78
labio-dentals, 45, 78
Ladefoged, Peter, 20, 36, 41, 47, 74,
84, 200
laminodental, 46, 78
land claim, 178
language
death, 145, 156–157, 166, 175
description, 150
endangerment, 143, 144, 232
games, 83, 84, 94
learning, 9, 74, 115, 134, 140, 215,
233
ownership, 169
revitalisation, 29, 139, 175, 178,
180, 231
teaching, 103
language learners, 68–69, 220, 228
adult, 222
language revitalisation, 29, 139, 178,
180, 230–232
lapel, 23–25, 135
laterals, 45
Latin, 107
lavalier (microphone), see lapel
leading questions, 102, 200
learner’s guides, 215, 216, 221
learner’s materials, 132, 196
learners, 69, 217, 221, 226, 228,
229
kids, 225
legal issues, 178
length, see duration
letters, 56, 132, 186, 190, 193,
218
lexical category, 11, 109, 118, 123
lexicography, 89
see also dictionaries
lexicon, 48, 55, 60, 68, 85, 109,
122–126
substitution, 96
libraries, 70, 231
lingua franca, 151
see also contact language
linguists, 1–7
links, 65, 185
Linnaean taxonomy, 126, 176
list intonation, 81
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280 Index
literacy, 59, 69, 134, 150, 187,
216–220, 225–227
and computers, 59
materials, 69, 216
stigma, 225
literal, 97
living conditions, 15, 158
loanwords, 42, 101, 228
locational phrases, 107, 110
logistics, 244
loneliness, 162
lossless/lossy recording, 20, 23
malaria, 160, 161, 196
maps, 126, 140, 196
Mapuche, 168
materials
duplication, 208
return to the community, 123
return of, 216
scope, 212
talking books, 225
media, 27, 30, 31, 34–35, 56–59, 61,
68, 179, 180, 193, 196, 209
blank, 57, 196, 209
durability, 18
storage, 207
types, 18
medical research, 167, 197, 202
memorisation, 49, 109
memory, 3, 38, 40, 59, 89, 95, 136
mental, 35, 127
metadata, 1, 37, 52, 56, 57, 61, 62,
65–68, 71, 135, 137, 165, 208, 216
categories, 66
description, 71
metalanguage, 11, 112
Mexico, 95, 217
microphone, 20–26, 30–35, 38, 81,
135, 140, 153, 195
business, 24
cardioid, 24
condenser, 24
dynamic, 24
impedance, 24
lapel/levalier, 24
placement, 31
shotgun, 24
Milingimbi, 138
mimicry, 78
minimal pairs, 41, 42, 49, 78, 83, 221
tone, 81
minority, 177, 184, 220, 233
groups, 183–187
languages, 177
minors, 173
missionaries, 179, 181, 205
mistakes, 18, 34, 42, 44, 61, 91, 126,
205, 214
mistranscription, 100
mixed languages, 158
modification, 109
Mohawk, 12
monolingual consultants, 120
monolingual elicitation, 120
morpheme boundaries, 69, 83, 115,
220, 236
morphemes, 68, 69, 86, 107, 115
morpheme boundaries, 69, 220, 236
morphological class, 107
morphology, 83–103, 105–119, 122,
130, 133, 138, 145
bound, 229
derivational, 108
in discourse, 115
optionality, 92
morphophonology, 83, 222
mould, 19, 30, 31, 69
mp3, 20, 22
MPI, 253
multilingualism, 76, 100, 128, 148, 186
multiple consultants, 92
music, 36, 127, 164
musicology, 19
narrative, 8, 18, 27, 66, 67, 95, 111,
130, 133, 134, 138–141, 172, 192
nasalisation, 44
nasals, 45, 82
National Science Foundation, 194
Native American, 11, 148
see also First Nation
Navajo, 179
Ndebele, 43
necronym, 254
see also taboo
negative data, 90, 120
see also grammaticality judgements
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Index
negative polarity, 93
neutralisation, 83
newspapers, 132
noise, 20–26, 30, 31, 34, 35, 38, 43,
75, 145, 153
noise cancelling headphones, 25
Northern Moldovian Hungarian, 98
notebooks, 25, 30, 52, 54, 196
notetaking, 31, 59, 157, 213
noun phrases, 87, 88, 90, 92, 109, 235
nouns, 60, 87, 105, 106, 108, 109,
110, 118, 235, 240, 241
mass and count, 108
proper, 241
number, 39, 86, 108
numerals, 86, 87, 109, 239
Oceania, 160
old materials, 156, 180, 205, 209, 214,
231–232
one language, one linguist rule, 145
onsets, 83, 260
open-source, 71
optionality, 110, 114
oral history, 23, 69, 133, 135, 145,
150, 178, 187, 209, 224
oratory, 133
orthography, 124, 211–220, 231–233
outcomes, 6, 169, 174–176, 187, 203,
215–216, 223
outsiders, 91, 143, 150, 152, 163, 178,
184, 186, 187, 225, 231
overgeneralisation, 110
overheads, 194
overlap, 136, 141
Ozbib, 206
painkillers, 161, 163
palatalisation, 44
palatography, 78–79, 201, 224
Papua New Guinea, 81, 206
paradigm, 48, 87, 102–107, 110, 117,
124, 157, 209
paraphrases, 109
parasites, 160
parsers, 90
parsing, 100, 107, 116
particles, 139, 241
part of speech, 118
281
part-speakers, 39, 98, 135
passive, 78, 79, 93, 94, 107, 114, 156,
157, 239
patience, 149, 157
paucal, 108
payment, 95, 142, 178, 182–183, 194,
202, 216
pdf, 252
pear story, 94, 95
pedagogy, 219, 221
pencil, 29, 54, 57, 93
pens, 54, 62, 164, 196
perceptual, 79
per diem, 195
permission, 28, 38, 140, 147–149, 165,
167, 170, 172–175, 190, 193, 201,
207–209, 213, 223, 225, 242, 245,
252
letters, 193
quotation, 207
refusal, 174
permits, 56, 147, 174
person, 81, 92, 99, 102
shifting, 99
personal information, 169, 199
personal motivation, 177, 181
personal names, 118
personnel, 158, 194, 198, 229
PhD, 8, 12, 146, 171, 177, 190, 216, 222
phonation, 45, 81
phoneme, 11, 38, 41–49, 55, 73, 80,
85, 102, 145, 211, 218
gaps, 41
inventory, 41
phonemicisation, 46, 211
phonetics, 73–84, 153, 212, 220
acoustic, 79
perceptual, 79
phonology, 5, 37, 38, 41, 47, 48, 49,
68, 82, 83, 98, 119, 123, 222, 235,
236, 253, 268
sketch, 236
phonotactics, 83, 236
photography, 27, 126, 172
photos, 56, 66, 164, 196
pitch, 19, 80, 81, 82, 236
pith helmet, 4
place names, see toponyms
plagiarism, 206, 214
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Index
plain text, 71
plausibility, 99
plurals, 86, 87, 93
pointing, 38, 97, 124
polarity, 93, 240
politeness, 42, 91, 139, 238
politics, 4, 7, 88, 149, 150, 152, 178,
180, 217, 218, 231
polysemy, 128
polysynthesis, 12, 87
popshield, 32
portable hard drives, 57
possession, 87, 125, 239, 240
postage, 196
Praat, 41, 79, 260
pragmatics, 140
pre-amps, 25
preparation, 52, 143, 147, 228
prescription, 91, 103, 150, 179, 220,
228
preservation, 18, 70
prestige, 136, 139, 150, 263
priming, 76, 77, 102, 117
principal parts, 107
priorities, 6, 145, 146, 153, 187, 233,
235
procedural texts, 125
processes, 6, 51
productivity, 92, 107, 108
project summary, 191, 192
promises, 155, 165, 170, 187, 191
prompts, 48, 52, 82, 94, 95, 99, 102,
125, 133, 134, 196, 210
pronouns, 87, 99, 110, 235, 238, 240
pronunciation, 43, 55, 77, 78, 80, 124,
211, 227
proverbs, 133
pseudonym, 67, 70
publication, 172, 201, 206, 210, 223,
230
punctuation, 224
Punthamara, 100–101
Qafar, 105, 106, 265
qualifications, 193
quantifiers, 108, 109
Queensland, 157
questionnaires, 90–93, 95, 102
administration, 93
design, 92
length, 93
questions, 40, 81, 93–94, 102, 106,
215
leading, 92, 102, 200, 239
research, 3, 89
quotation, 11, 207
radio, 58, 132
randomisation, 79
rare, 18, 100, 107, 137, 150, 177, 192,
213, 228
readership, 218, 226, 228
reading pronunciation, 77
recipe, 133
reciprocals, 238
recording, 19–22, 136, 147, 154
analogue cassettes, 252
clipping, 40
digital, 19
environment, 24
ethics, 169
illicit, 170
labelling, 57
media types, 18
part-speakers, 135
techniques, 23
tips, 31
recording equipment, 3, 19, 23, 29,
48, 57, 77, 139, 140, 195
desiderata, 22
digital, 23
general issues, 22
headphones, 28
monitoring, 32
transcription, 136
recording tips, 31
recruitment, 199
redundancy, 88
reduplication, 83
reference grammar, 5, 49, 59, 132,
187, 215, 221–223
referentiality, 39, 238
reflexives, 239
refusal, 203
regional, 43, 98, 132, 151, 193
register, 44, 91, 132, 136, 138, 224
and grammaticality, 91
regularisation, 157
rehearsal, 33
related languages, 104, 232
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Index
religion, 95, 127, 132, 176, 264
rememberers, see part-speakers
reminiscences, 133
rental vehicles, 195
repair, 141, 246
repellent, 32, 160, 161
repetition, 75, 76, 77, 138, 141
reports, 47, 55–56, 59, 134, 196, 203,
233
research
design, 74, 77
grants, see grants
outcomes, 169
participants, see consultants
secondary use of materials, 173
visas, see visas
researcher effect, 175
researchers
and communities, 184
respect, 6, 118, 134, 143, 180, 207,
210, 242, 244
restricted materials, 179, 210
restructuring, 157
results, 3, 8, 75, 127, 155, 178, 201,
217–233
retroflection, 43, 46
return to the community, 123
reversal, 124
reviews, 36, 198
revitalisation, 175, 178, 230–232
rhymes, 42
risk, 5, 15, 26, 31, 116, 144, 146, 164,
198–199, 256
Roman alphabet, 218
Romani, 101
rounded vowels, 45
rounding, 46, 78
RTF (Rich Text Format), 71
Russian, 151
safety, 144, 162
salvage study, 21
sampling rate, 20, 65–66, 70, 71
sandhi, 81
Sapir, Edward, 11
satellite images, 126
scanning, 54
school, 59, 158, 203–204
materials, 56
teachers, 179
283
science, 6, 15, 176, 178–179
scientific knowledge, 176, 216
scientific method, 7, 176
scope, 113, 118, 127, 212, 228, 233
screwdrivers, 164
scripts, 70, 77
secondary materials, 71, 242
secondary use of materials, 173
segmentation, 83
self-repair, 137
semantic elicitation, 120
semantic fields, 39, 122–124, 226
semantic roles, 92, 110, 238
semantics, 5, 48, 89, 98, 100, 108,
110, 114, 124, 130, 188, 230
and grammaticality, 91
semblative case, 130
seminars, 56
semi-speakers, see part-speakers
semi-structured interviews, 90
sermons, 132
sexual interest, 152
shifting, 45
shotgun, 24, 186
sign language, 26
signal-to-noise ratio, 20
silica gel, 29
similes, 130, 132
site mapping, 126
sketch grammars, 221, 233
slang, 124, 136
Smithsonian Institutions, 70
snakes, 40, 161, 247, 249
sociolinguistics, 9, 16, 23
socks, 32
software, 27, 36, 55, 59–60, 70, 77,
93, 168, 192–193, 195, 212, 219,
225, 226
Elan, 68
file conversion, 27, 59
keyboard mapping, 43
Praat, 79
Toolbox, 68, 226–227
transcription programs, 74
sound clips, 42, 124
sound spectrum, 20
source lists, 206
Spanish, 101, 155
spectacles, see glasses
spectrograms, 5, 19, 41, 45, 60, 79–80
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284
Index
speech community, 3, 8, 76, 101, 143,
150
speech errors, 74, 114, 138
speech impediments, 149
spelling, 74, 116, 150, 218, 220–221,
232
conventions, 218
variants, 205
see also orthography
splitter, 26
standardisation, 21, 74, 213, 220
statistical significance, 75
statistics, 60, 184
stealing the language, 217
stereotypes, 184, 186
stigma, 183
stills cameras, 27
stimulus materials, 79, 90, 94, 95, 96,
114, 120, 196
stipends, 194
stops, 43–45, 74–75, 80, 82, 219
glottalised, 74
voiceless, 44, 74
storage, 27, 30, 56, 68, 171
stories, see narrative
story books, 126
stress, 16, 45, 73, 75, 80–83, 152, 184,
185, 187, 205
mental, 158, 162
primary, 45
transcription, 73
subject language, 66
subjects, 5, 94, 111, 114, 168, 191,
197–198, 204, 238
subordination, 13, 82, 237, 239
superstrate, 101
suppletion, 109, 110, 118
suprasegmentals, 236
surge protector, 28
Survey of California and Other Indian
languages, 70
Swadesh list, 39
see also basic vocabulary
syllables, 43, 45, 62, 80, 82, 116, 236
stress, 80
structure, 83
synonyms, 39, 124
syntactic category, see lexical category
syntax, 9, 12, 87–120, 222, 237–240
synthesis, 79
taboo, 124, 180, 210, 228
death, 201
gender, 152
tagging, 81, 111, 114
talking books, 225
talking dictionaries, 215
targeted elicitation, 89
targets, 76
taxonomy, 126, 176, 226
teeth, 76, 78, 96
temporal marking, see tense
tense, 111, 238
and agreement, 99
elicitation, 90–93, 102–103,
111–112
marking, 90–93
sequencing, 111, 239
terminology, 19, 68, 78, 102, 124–125,
127, 221–222
texts, 47, 54, 68–69, 85, 90, 94,
122–126, 131–138, 187, 222, 233
complexity, 132
editing, 137
repetition, 138
see also narratives
theory, 83, 112, 114
cultural, 5
and description, 11
and field research, 11
timeline, 192
tiredness, 101
token, 46, 75
repetition, 76
tone, 37, 62, 73, 81, 83, 218, 236
elicitation, 81
sandhi, 81
Toolbox, 56, 60, 68, 226–228
topic
of conversation, 48, 65, 101
grammatical, 221
toponyms, 110, 118, 126, 241
training, 224, 232
transcription, 41–47, 54–57, 208, 224
consistency, 74
conventions, 43
errors, 55, 100, 129
level of detail, 73
phonemic, 74
processes, 136
regularisation, 116
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Index
transcription – Continued
software, 138
time-alignment, 136
transcripts, 46, 60, 132, 171, 208
transitivity, 92, 110
translation, 39, 69, 77, 82, 90, 93,
97–99, 114, 118, 123, 128, 135,
177, 194, 253, 265
and additional material, 98
free vs literal, 97
literal, 93
misleading, 98
precision, 99
stories, 133
travel, 144–152, 159, 161, 193–197
trills, 45
tripod, 31, 32, 35, 252
trust, 16, 155, 162, 170, 180, 199
Turkey, 200
Turkish, 89, 113
turn-taking, 141, 154
twenty questions, 94, 140
typefaces, see fonts
typology, 5, 101, 119, 215
unaspirated consonants, 44
Unicode, 43
unique identifier, 66, 207
USA, 183
vaccinations, 159, 196
valency, 93, 239
variables, 7, 74, 88, 130
variants, 41, 61, 101, 114, 124
conditioning, 114
variation, 8, 9, 23, 66, 114–115, 148,
205, 211, 222, 225
regional, 98
see also priming
velarisation, 45
verbs, 87, 93, 111, 239
agreement, 92
vernacular, 120, 125
video, 26–29, 94–96, 114, 125, 139,
147, 224
brightness, 33
ethics, 28
formats, 27
recording tips, 32
zoom, 33
285
video camera, 28, 139, 224
Vietnamese, 81
visas, 193, 196
vitamins, 160
vocabulary, 9, 38–40, 88–89, 122–128,
133–134, 139, 156, 206, 228, 232,
235
basic, 235
expansion, 235
rare, 228
vocal tract, 78
vocatives, 115
voice activated recording, 32
voiceless, 44, 74, 75, 80, 82, 219
voicing, 45, 75, 80, 236
vowels, 44–46, 74–76, 79, 80, 83, 218,
220
harmony, 83
length, 83
long, 45
plotting measurements, 60
rounding, 46
voiceless, 45
waivers, 198
water, 144, 159, 160, 179
wax cylinders, 19
web, 43, 62, 64, 66, 70
materials, 225
Western science, 6, 176
wiki, 225
word boundaries, 38, 220
word class, see lexical category
word list, 38–39, 46–47, 75, 123, 156,
222
old records, 205
word order, 88, 92, 112, 130, 267
basic, 88
word processor, 60
workflow, 27, 51, 53, 135
workshop, 218, 265
writing system, 18, 74, 217–220
written consent, 199
wug–testing, 108
Yan-nhaŋu, 27, 77
Yolŋu Matha, 138, 219
young people’s varieties, 157
zoom, 33
Copyrighted material – 9781137340788