Friday, November 29, 2019

Monday, November 25, 2019

Writing a Conference Abstract in Syntax – Some Practical Advice

It is that time of year again, and I have been doing some abstract reviews. I have quickly written up the following advice to help abstract writers.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Papers that I would love to write (but do not have time for right now)

Here is a list of papers that I would love to write, but do not have time for right now.

Rate of Transcription in Syntactic Fieldwork

As I have discussed in previous blog posts, non-experimental data, such as transcribed oral texts, is an excellent source of syntactic data.

In this blog post, I outline some of the factors that affect the rate of transcription of recorded oral texts when doing syntactic fieldwork. If anybody knows of relevant literature on this topic, please let me know. A systematic survey amongst fieldworkers would probably be useful in helping to understand the process, and maybe to help make it more efficient.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Fieldwork Tip of the Day

June 24, 2022
Don't be afraid to explore. 

June 24, 2022
If you elicit a sentence, take the time to ask the question: "Is there another way of saying it?" or "Can this be said in another way?". It is often possible to elicit interesting and unexpected variants using such a technique.

June 24, 2022
If you elicit a sentence, if often helps to have the consultant repeat it at a slower rate. It is often the case that when a sentence is repeated at a slower rate, certain interesting details pop out.

June 24, 2022
Record everything: words, sentences, texts. Even if you are doing syntactic elicitation, record everything. There are two reasons for this: First, if you record, you or other people can verify your data later. Second, by having a recording, you can revisit the data from another angle. You never know what you might find interesting or important in the future.

January 17, 2020
Any fieldwork task can take at least twice as long as the best estimate (and maybe much longer). Therefore, you should set realistic goals, and give yourself plenty of time to accomplish them.

December 10, 2019
Your consultants on a particular language will all have different strengths. Learn to find and develop those strengths. For example, even if two consultants are both fluent native speakers, they may differ in their abilities to do certain tasks (e.g., folk tales, syntactic elicitation, lexical elicitation, tone matching, etc.).

November 16, 2019
Test all equipment (including cables, batteries, chargers, adaptors) before going to the field.

November 15, 2019
Try to have a backup of all equipment (two recorders, two mics, two cables of each kind, two more SD cards). Include backup equipment in the budget.

November 14, 2019
Avoid recording in a room with cement walls. There will be echo. If you must do so, hang blankets on the walls.

November 2, 2019
You can learn as much about the syntax of a language by trying to learn how to speak it as you can by any other means (e.g., elicitation, texts).

November 1, 2019
Download e-copies of all your manuals and put them in one place on your computer, including manuals for cameras, mics, speakers, audio recorders, etc. These are searchable, and might come in handy in the field.

4x4 Break Down (October 27 2019)

In this post, I narrate my vehicle breakdown and the lessons I learned from it.