LING 5112 - Field Linguistics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course will be useful to all PG students of Linguistics who are preparing for their role as researchers and practitioners. The course focuses on language as it is spoken and our ability as researchers to render that language in a form that is suitable for analysis. Students will learn how to collect/record data, how to manage and store it and how to go about analysing it for a range of purposes, including language description and contrastive analysis to identify areas of difficulty for language learners. The course will necessarily deal with the context in which data collection takes place and will address research ethics and protocols, the Observer's Paradox, and practicalities of recording, transcribing (both broad and narrow IPA transcription), organising (tagging) and archiving data. The course will look at the nature of the language data that is being recorded: oral vs written; natural speech versus elicited speech; ethnography of communication; varieties of language, borrowing, code-switching, style-shifting and diglossia. A range of analytical approaches will also be addressed. The particular focus of analysis will depend on the student cohort and their specific needs, but will include several of the following: Phonemic Analysis; Orthography Design; Contrastive Analysis (identifying difficulties for language learners); Morphological Analysis; Semantic Analysis; Lexicography; Syntactic Analysis; Analysis of Code-Switching. As a result this course will be able to address basic understandings and analytic techniques through practical investigation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 5112
    Course Field Linguistics
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites Completed degree (72 units) including minimum 24 units in Applied Linguistics
    Course Description This course will be useful to all PG students of Linguistics who are preparing for their role as researchers and practitioners. The course focuses on language as it is spoken and our ability as researchers to render that language in a form that is suitable for analysis. Students will learn how to collect/record data, how to manage and store it and how to go about analysing it for a range of purposes, including language description and contrastive analysis to identify areas of difficulty for language learners.

    The course will necessarily deal with the context in which data collection takes place and will address research ethics and protocols, the Observer's Paradox, and practicalities of recording, transcribing (both broad and narrow IPA transcription), organising (tagging) and archiving data. The course will look at the nature of the language data that is being recorded: oral vs written; natural speech versus elicited speech; ethnography of communication; varieties of language, borrowing, code-switching, style-shifting and diglossia. A range of analytical approaches will also be addressed. The particular focus of analysis will depend on the student cohort and their specific needs, but will include several of the following: Phonemic Analysis; Orthography Design; Contrastive Analysis (identifying difficulties for language learners); Morphological Analysis; Semantic Analysis; Lexicography; Syntactic Analysis; Analysis of Code-Switching.

    As a result this course will be able to address basic understandings and analytic techniques through practical investigation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rob Amery

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Be aware of ethical considerations and observe protocols in linguistic fieldwork
    2 Learn how to record and document languages
    3 Be able to transcribe recordings in IPA (both broad and narrow transcription)
    4 Be familiar with state of the art data storage and archive maintenance
    5 Be able to use dedicated linguistic databases and software (eg Toolbox)
    6 Be familiar with on-line resources for language documentation and preservation
    7 Be able to apply linguistic analytical procedures
    8 Perform contrastive analysis and understand the implications for language learners
    9 Be able to present a description and analysis of an aspect of a language in publishable form
    10
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 6, 8, 9
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4, 7, 8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1, 2, 9
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4, 5, 6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 6, 8, 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources


    Course text book:
    Bowern, Claire. (2008) Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. Palgrave.

    Available at Unibooks.

    Recommended Resources
    Journal: Language Documentation and Conservation


    S. Bird and G. Simons. 2003. “Seven dimensions of portability for language documentation and description.” Language 79:557-582.

    N. Himmelmann. 1998. “Documentary and descriptive linguistics." Linguistics 36:161-195.

    Seifart, Frank, Geoffrey Haig, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, Dagmar Jung, Anna Margetts and Paul Trilsbeek (eds). 2012. Potentials of Language Documentation Methods, Analyses and Utilization, Language Documentation & Conversation. Special Publication No. 3. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

    Gippert, Jost & Nikolaus P. Himmelmann & Ulrike Mosel (eds). 2006. Essentials of language documentation. Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs 178, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Healy, Alan (ed.) (1975) Language Lerner’s Field Guide. Summer Institute of Linguistics, Ukarumpa, Papua & New Guinea.

    Online Learning
    Research papers, language data and useful web links will be shared through MyUni.

    The following websites have useful on-line resources and numerous additional web links:

    Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD) http://www.rnld.org/

    SOAS Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project http://www.hrelp.org/documentation/whatisit/

    On-Line Resources for Endangered Languages (OREL) http://www.hrelp.org/languages/resources/orel/

    Open Language Archives Community (OLAC): http://www.language-archives.org/

    Ethnologue http://www.ethnologue.com/

    World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS) http://wals.info/

    Paradisec http://www.paradisec.org.au/

    AIATSIS http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/research/resources.html



  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lecture/Seminar/Discussion
    (The class, small groups and individuals will have access to a language informant; or will work with each other, taking turns to act as language informants)
    Demonstration in-situ with language informant;
    Small group discovery tasks working with language informant;
    One-on-one consultation sessions with language informant
    One-on-one or small group instruction in use of software
    Small-group collaborative transcription and analysis sessions
    One-on-one or small group consultation sessions with lecturer

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 1 hour lecture/demonstration per week (x 12) 12 hours
    1 x 1 hour elicitation/analysis workshop per week (x 12) 12 hours
    Individual/Small group elicitation (1.5hrs per week X 12) 18 hours
    Transcription and Archiving (3hrs pw X 12) 36 hours
    Reading (3hrs pw X 13) 39 hours
    Analysis (Av. 10hrs per week X 13) 130 hours
    Assignment Preparation (5hrs per week X 13) 65 hours
    TOTAL 312 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Introduction to Field Linguistics; Varieties of Language
    Week 2 Research Ethics and Protocols; Recording Practicalities
    Week 3 IPA & Phonetic Transcription (broad and narrow)
    Week 4 Organising and Archiving Data; Toolbox and other software
    Week 5 Elicitation
    Week 6 Phonemic Analysis and Orthography Design
    Week 7 Contrastive Phonological Analysis
    Week 8 Morphological Analysis
    Week 9 Morphophonemics
    Week 10 Lexicography and Lexical Semantics
    Week 11 Eliciting Syntactic Structures, Syntactic Analysis & Contrastive Syntax
    Week 12 Writing an Analytical Linguistics Paper
    Specific Course Requirements
    Please note that, due to the nature of the Field Linguistics course and taking into account the specific needs of students, the Learning Activities Summary is indicative only. It might be that more or less emphasis will be placed on particular topics depending on the particular language of study and the problems it throws up and the particular interests of the students.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The Field Linguistics class itself will not be large. There will be further opportunity to work in very small groups of 2, 3 or 4 students, sometimes together with the language informant.
    Students are encouraged to work together in small groups in learning how to record and document a language, and in learning how to organise and analyse their data. However, any work presented for assessment must be an original, individual contribution.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Data Collection & Transcription Formative

    Week 4

    20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Analysis Formative Week 8 30% 7, 8
    Academic Article (5,000 words) Summative Week 13 50% 7, 8, 9
    Assessment Detail
    Data Collection and Transcription (1,000 words)

    Students will work with a language informant, monolingually (ie no English allowed) at first and later bilingually, to record and transcribe words in the target language, and ascertain their meanings in English. On the basis of the phonetic transcriptions they have made, they will perform a phonemic analysis, identifying the phonemes and allophones of these phonemes in the target
    language. A description of the phonology of the target language will be prepared and submitted.

     

    Data Analysis (Morphology and Syntax) (2,000 words)

    Students will undertake an analysis of an aspect of grammar analysable from data obtained from the language informant.

     

    Preparation of Publishable Paper

    On the basis of data obtained and analysed students will prepare an article of publishable
    quality and specifications. This paper may concern a unique, interesting or unusual aspect of the structure of the target language (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon, semantics, pragmatics, discourse, politeness strategies etc). (ie genius of the target language)

    Alternatively

    Students may prepare a paper on anticipated difficulties speakers of the target language might have in learning and speaking English based on data they have obtained from the language informant. (ie contrastive analysis)

    Submission
    1.        Assignments may be e-mailed to the Course Coordinator OR submitted in hard copy.

    2.        If submitted in hard copy, this copy should be handed in to the School of Humanities Office, Napier, Level 7 where it will be date stamped and passed on to the Course Coordinator.

    3.        All assignments (whether e-mailed or submitted in hard copy) must be accompanied by
    a signed cover sheet (Linguistics cover sheets available from the School Office).

    4.        Ensure that your Course Coordinator’s Name, Course Title and Assignment Title appear
    on the cover sheet.

    5.        All assignments must be in grammatical English.

    6.        Phonetic transcription may be hand-written legibly, though use of electronic IPA symbols
    is preferred. Typed assignments must be double-spaced with a minimum 10 font.

    7.        Always keep a copy of your work. (Just occasionally things do go astray)

    8.        Assignments submitted late require a doctor’s certificate, counsellor’s certificate or
    similar proof/documentation.

    9.        Extensions (normally up to one week) may be negotiated through the Course Coordinator, but this MUST be organised prior to the due date.

    10.      Penalty with no extension is 2% per day up to 10 working days.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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