Field Methods in Linguistics - Writing Intensive

ENGLSH 4670W/7670
Section 01
Michael Marlo
Arts & Sciences 301
Course Description

At a time when minority languages are dwindling and becoming extinct, language documentation is more important than ever. This course has two main pedagogical goals, related to the documentation of understudied languages. The first goal is to train students on the methods of eliciting and evaluating linguistic data to study a language, by working with a native speaker of the language. One important aspect of this goal is for students to gain experience in professional writing in linguistics. The second goal is for students to discover specific details about the structure of the language under investigation, which will be selected by the instructor prior to the onset of the class. We typically work with a speaker of a different African language each semester; in past semesters, we have worked with speakers of the Kenyan languages Bukusu, Tiriki, and Keiyo, the Congolese languages Ikinyamurenge and Lingala, and the Nigerian language Igala. Much of our class time will be spent as a lab, in which we interview a speaker of the target language to investigate different properties of the language. We will learn how to elicit linguistic data and then describe, analyze, and write about the target language.

English 4670W/7670 is cross-listed with LINGST 4870/7870 & ANTHRO 4870/7870.