Field Linguistics: A Beginner's Guide

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Oxford University Press, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 202 pages
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Crowley's voice of experience brings us the best practical fieldwork guide to date. Sensible, frank, and comprehensive, this book prepares beginning field workers for the rigours ahead and will save years of costly trial and error. N. J. Enfield


This book is a comprehensive, practical guide to field linguistics. It deals in particular with the problems arising from the documentation of endangered languages. Deploying a mixture of methodology and practical advice and drawing on his own immense experience, Terry Crowley shows how to record, analyse, and describe a language in the field. He covers the challenges and problems the researcher is likely to encounter, offers guidance on issues ranging from ethics to everyday diplomacy, and provides full discussions of corpus elicitation, how to keep track of data, salvage fieldwork, dealing with unexpected circumstances, and many other central topics. "We all learn by our mistakes," he writes, "and I have plenty of my own to share with you."

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Review: Field Linguistics: A Beginner's Guide

User Review  - Goodreads

A very interesting and helpful book, full of personal examples to relate to the matters being discussed. Practical knowledge and experience combined with advice, guidelines and basic information make this a great basic idea of how to begin field work in linguistics. Read full review

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About the author (2007)


Terry Crowley was Professor of Linguistics at the University of Waikato. He researched Oceanic languages for over a quarter of a century during which time he produced original accounts of seventeen of them including Bislama, Sye, Ura, Yaygir, Bandjalang, Uradhi, Mpakwithi, and Cape York Creole. His OUP books include Serial Verbs in Oceanic (2002) and An Introduction to Historical Linguistics (third edition, 1998).

When Terry Crowley died in January 2005 he left behind a complete and almost final draft of the present book. This has been checked and prepared for publication by Professor Crowley's friend and colleague, Dr Nick Thieberger of the University of Melbourne.

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