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Questions tagged [field-linguistics]

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1
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1answer
61 views

How to construct a grammar given a text and a dictionary

So I would like to learn how to construct a grammar from scratch. In order to do this the first step is collecting data, primarily texts, and compiling a dictionary. I think this can be simulated for ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Why does John Batchelor record these vowels for Ainu?

Reverend John Batchelor who recorded some early Ainu literature had a peculiar orthography, where he records word-final vowels where phonemically there is none. Words like kor or mosir, he spells koro ...
0
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1answer
46 views

How linguists determine the sounds a speaker is performing

So I see things like: Sharanawa has /ɸ/ instead of /β/, and Shanewana has a labiodental fricative /f/ instead of /ɸ/. where the table shows [β] as the symbol. That, along with other examples like ...
6
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1answer
82 views

What ways do you know to encourage people to come up with different ways of saying the same thing?

Question: What ways do you know to encourage people to come up with different ways of saying the same thing? Background: I'm working on a project where my goal is to get variants of utterances as a ...
3
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2answers
188 views

Is it possible that a language's number system is inherently wrong?

Is it possible due to mythological reasons or some other human error (what can be the reasons of those errors in that case) that a language's number is flawed for e.g. -> Copainala Zoque number ...
4
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2answers
96 views

How does a field linguist record rare, unknown features of an undocumented language? Is it likely for him/her to miss the details?

A field linguists is most likely an adult, after all. We all know that babies are capable of hearing the specific sounds in natural languages. As a person grows up, however, he/she starts to lose the ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Asking for analysis of sentences [closed]

Could you tell me what the difference nominal WH clause and nominal relative clause is ? For example, nominal WH clause : no one knows what caused the accident. Nominal Relative clause: You call ...
0
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3answers
162 views

Possible to describe phonetics before phonology of an unknown language?

Hypothetically, When describing the sound system of an unknown language, is there any scenario in which you may perform a phonetic analysis before a phonological one? I guess the standard approach is ...
1
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2answers
58 views

What are some must-have equipment in a mobile fieldwork kit?

Suppose you are given a $35,000 budget for documentation equipment to perform a typological study of suprasegmental features of language varieties spoken in urban and rural Finland. Obviously, one ...
5
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1answer
812 views

How does one become a field linguist?

It may be because I'm reading Daniel Everett's autobiography right now and it has me all pumped up for adventure... but it does bring up the question: How do you actually break into that field? Is ...
3
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1answer
81 views

What sort of criteria are used to deem a language description complete?

I'm not a field linguist but my hobby overlaps with it, particularly the descriptive part. At the far ends, with remnant langauges (Virginian Algonquin) and well studied mega-lingua francas like ...
17
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2answers
480 views

How did Esperanto find “early adopters” for the language?

Even with the volume of constructed languages that exist, I've never seen formal analysis documenting the successive approaches Esperanto took in an effort to really engage and convert "early adopters"...
13
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4answers
528 views

How does a linguist determine whether a pattern is grammatical in a language?

How does a linguist determine whether a pattern is grammatical in a language? Is there some kind of standard test? This is assuming that there is little documentation of the language and no authority. ...
2
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1answer
139 views

Proving an existing, undocumented language is “new”

What is the process of proving a new language is in fact a language -- and that it is a "new" unclaimed language within linguistics?
21
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4answers
4k views

How do field linguists begin to study an undocumented language which they cannot speak?

When field linguists begin to study a new language with whose speakers they don't share a common language, how do they begin? I don't need the whole story, just the very start, the "bootstrapping". ...