Download Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide by Claire Bowern PDF

By Claire Bowern

Doing box examine isn't like operating within the lab with chemical substances: either the sphere employee and their experts are actual those who engage in complicated methods. This booklet is a consultant to accomplishing that interplay with a purpose to produce learn which advantages not just the linguistic group, but in addition language audio system. Given the rapidity of decline in international linguistic variety, the following 30 years can be an important for destiny wisdom of languages everywhere in the world.

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Extra resources for Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide

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People use gesture and facial expressions to get their meaning across as well as speech. Some spoken languages have auxiliary sign languages too, and if you are studying a signed language, video will be your recording medium. By only recording the audio channel of communication we are not recording the whole picture of a language. If your aim is a comprehensive documentation of the language, no visual recordings would be a big gap. If you are recording narratives which go with cultural practices such as weaving or dyeing, having the visual demonstration is often vital to understanding what is going on.

There is some distortion at the top and bottom of the sound spectrum. The frequency response should be as good as possible; a good quality machine will record within 18 Linguistic Fieldwork frequencies between 80 and 11,000 Hz with an error of 2 dB or less (Ladefoged 2003:18). The signal-to-noise ratio is the difference between the signal that you are recording and the ‘noise’ (background noise, machine noise, and so on). The higher this number the better. The signal to noise ratio is stated in decibels (dB).

There are free Unicode IPA fonts, for example, which can be mapped to keyboards. There are other systems, such as web input, drop-down boxes and scrollthrough menus, but as soon as you are typing even small amounts of data extra keystrokes or mouse clicks slow down data entry considerably. Ease of typing may affect your choice of transcription system. For example it may be that your language has a vowel system with primary realization of phonemes like this: (4) i ɛ u ɔ ɐ In this case, a, e and o would be good alternatives for ease of data entry over ɐ, ɛ and O (once you’re sure of the phonemes).

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