Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Here is a step by step procedure for generating a FLEx file from an ELAN file, and then generating an ELAN file from the FLEx file.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Writing a Statement of Purpose for Linguistics Graduate School

All linguistics graduate schools require prospective students to write a Statement of Purpose (SOP). And faculty members of those schools place great weight on them. From personal experience, I can say that the SOP is the most important document that I read when evaluating a student application.

So what exactly is a SOP and why is it so important?

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Two Kinds of Data in Syntactic Fieldwork: Experimental and Non-Experimental

[This is a revision of an earlier post (October 9, 2019), responding to feedback that I received at that time.]

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Two Poles in North American Linguistics Departments

In this post, I will lay out the contours of two evolving poles in North American linguistics departments: psycholinguistics/computational versus fieldwork/documentation. I am not claiming that any particular department exactly matches the descriptions I have given below. Many departments are a mix of the two basic types, but my feeling is that things are changing very rapidly and departments are tending to gravitate toward one of the two poles (more frequently toward the psycholinguistics/computational pole).

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Remembering Sam Epstein (by Chris Collins)

Sam Epstein was professor at Harvard from 1988 to 1997. During this time, he directed the thesis work of a string of stellar syntax students, including (amongst others) Hisa Kitahara, Geoffrey Poole, Dianne Jonas, Erich Groat, John O’Neill and Marylse Baptista. These students were all an integral part of the Cambridge syntax community. I often saw them at MIT talks, and when I went to Harvard to attend a talk. Some of them are still close colleagues today (most notably Erich Groat, with whom I have had the pleasure of collaborating in recent years).

Monday, December 16, 2019

Summary of OWG Blog (December 16, 2019)

My blog recently passed 20,000 page views (not including my own page views). In honor of that occasion, I have decided to summarize the statistics for my blog as of today.

Basic Consultant Skills for Transcribing and Translating Oral Texts

Recently, I had the pleasure of transcribing and translating some oral texts with the help of my consultants. I took the opportunity to jot down some consultant skills that are useful when dealing with oral texts. As skills, they need to be learned and practiced.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Kua Fieldwork 2019-12-02: Goals and Report

The goals and report of the following blog entry will give you a somewhat gritty low-level view of the kinds of things that I am doing nowadays in my fieldwork and why I am doing them. It will also allow you to see the kinds of issues that face me in working with consultants.