LHL 17: A Manual of Linguistic Field Work and Indian Language Structures

Référence: ISBN 9783895864018

A Manual of Linguistic Field Work and Indian Language Structures

Anvita Abbi
Center of Linguistics and English, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
& Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

This is a manual on linguistic field methodology with special reference to Indian language structures. It covers all that one needs to know about eliciting data from native speaker informants of South Asian languages. The book contains step by step information about collection, collation, analysis, description, presentation and explanation of linguistic data. The author has drawn a large number of first-hand collected examples from lesser-known and 'tribal' languages of India to expose the readers to the variety and diversity of linguistic data available in the subcontinent. In addition to the discussion on elicitation on phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic and sociolinguistic information, the author has discussed the linguistic characteristic features of each language family of India. The book makes the reader aware of areal features of the languages under consideration and the contact phenomena to facilitate fieldwork. Each topic is followed by the 'elicitation tips' and interrogation techniques for the field worker as well as practical issues, problems and solutions as regards collection of data. Sets of questionnaires on commonly investigated topics are included in the 'appendix' to facilitate field worker to come to grips with the theoretical and structural aspects of languages in general and Indian languages in specific. Numerous figures, maps and tables.

Table of Contents: 

1 Linguistic Fieldwork and the Indian Scene 
1.1 All about Linguistic Field Research
1.1.1 Field Linguistics as an Input System to other fields 
1.1.2 What does it involve? 
1.1.3 Participatory in character 
1.1.4 Theory independent 
1.2 The Composition of the Language Scene in India
1.2.1. The Constitution 
1.2.2. The Minority languages 
1.3 The Hierarchical Structure of Indian Society 
1.4 Bilingualism and Indian Society 
1.4.1 The Rural Scene 
1.4.2 The Urban Scene 
1.4.3 Mahanagar (The Cosmopolitan cities of India) 
1.4.4 Bilingualism and Education 
1.4.5 Language Loyalty, Language Shift And Language Adoption 
1.5. The Contact Languages of India 
1.5.1 All India 
1.5.2 Our field experience 
1.5.3 Other Studies 

2 Indian languages and India as a Linguistic Area
2.1 Individual Language Features
2.1.1 Indo-Aryan
2.1.2 Dravidian
2.1.3 Austro-Asiatic
2.1.4 Tibeto-Burman
2.1.5 Andamanese
2.2 Areal Typology of Indian Languages
2.2.1 Sound System
2.2.2 Morphology 
2.2.3 Syntax and Semantics
2.2.4 Discourse Strategies
3 The Preparation

3.0 The first Stage 
3.1. Budgeting and reservation 
3.1.l Travel 
3.1.2 Board and Lodging 
3.1.3 Remuneration for the Informants 
3.1.4 Communication Network charges 
3.1.5 Stationary 
3.1.6 Equipment and Accessories 
3.1.7 Data Processing 
3.1.8 Word Processing/Typing 
3.1.9 Reprographic Services/Xeroxing 
3.1.10 Printing 
3.1.11 Books and Journals 
3.1.12 Contingencies 
3.1.13 Overheads 
3.2 Your Luggage 
3.2.1 Materials to Take Along 
3.2.2 Dress Code 
3.3 Ethnic, Linguistic, Social, Political and Economic Status of The Informants/Area to be studied 
3.3.1 Literature study 
3.3.2 Ethnology 
3.3.3 Language study in big cities 
3.4 Field Work in the Class room 
3.5 Preparation of the Questionnaire 
3.5.1 Goals should be clear 
3.5.2 Each questionnaire should be numbered. 
3.5.3 Language of the Questionnaire 
3.5.4 Length of the questionnaire 
3.5.5 Information regarding the informant 
3.6 Contacts in the field 
3.7 The Second Stage: In the field 
3.7.1 What Language to Use for Eliciting Data? 
3.8 Choosing Informants 
3.8.1 Begin at School 
3.8.2 Avoid a Language Teacher 
3.8.3. Choose Both Male and Female Informants 
3.8.4. Choose All Age Groups But Not Below Twelve 
3.8.5. Choose All Sections of the Stratified Society 
3.8.6 One Willing Informant is Better Than Ten Unwilling Ones 
3.9 The Role of the Interpreter 
3.10 Your Own Behaviour in the Field 
3.10.1 The Investigator 
3.11 Being a woman is a Blessing 

4 Elicitation 
4.1. Various Methods 
4.1.1 Observation Method 
4.1.2 Interview Method 
4.1.3 Sending Questionnaire Method 
4.1.4 Documentary Source Method 
4.2 Interviewing Informants 
4.3 Interrogation Techniques 
4.3.1 Translation 
4.3.2 Contact Language 
4.3.3 Pictorial Representation 
4.3.4 Substitution Interrogation 
4.3.5 Associative Interrogation 
4.3.6 Paraphrase 
4.3.7 Cross Interrogation 
4.3.8 Stimulus Interrogation 
4.3.9 Examples and Illustrations 
4.4 Transcription 
4.4.1 Narrow or Broad 
4.4.2 IPA or American 
4.5 Data Collection: Various Stages 
4.5.1 Stage I: Basic Word List 
4.5.2 Stage II: 400 Word List 
4.5.3 Stage III: Small Phrases 
4.6. Morphological Topics 
4.7. Dichotomy between Noun and Verb 

5 Word formation Processes
5.0 General Remarks 
5.1 Mostly Inflection 
5.1.1 Noun Morphology 
5.1.2 Pronoun Morphology 
5.1.3 Case Markings and Postpositions 
5.1.4 Morphology of Adjectives 
5.1.5 Stage IV: Simple Sentences 
5.1.6 Morphology and Syntax of Adverbs 
5.1.7 Verb Morphology 
5.1.8 Stage V: Complex Sentences 
5.2 Derivation 
5.2.1 Particle –wala 
5.2.2 Morphological Causatives 
5.3 Reduplication 
5.3.1 Morphological 
5.3.2 Lexical 
5.4 Compounds 
5.4.1 Endocentric 
5.4.2 Exocentric 
5.4.3 Appositional or Associative 

6 Language Aspects
6.0 Introduction 
6.1 Inquiring into Syntax, Semantics Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics 
6.2 Word Order Typology 
6.2.1 Characteristic Features of SOV 
6.3 Topic and Focus 
6.4 Interrogation 
6.5 Negation 
6.5.1 Salient Features 
6.5.2 Negative Verbs 
6.5.3 Deletion 
6.5.4 Scope of Negation 
6.5.5 Other Related Features 
6.6 Complex Predicates 
6.7 Explicator Compound Verbs 
6.7.1 Aspectual
6.7.2 Adverbial
6.7.3 Attitudinal
6.8 Dative Subjects
6.8.1 Experiential
6.8.2 Non Experiential
6.8.3 Subject properties
6.9 Complementation
6.9.1 Types of Complements
6.10 Converbs/Conjunctive Participles
6.10.1 Semantic Features
6.10.2 Clause Chaining
6.11 Anaphora
6.11.1 Definition
6.11.2 Reflexives
6.11.3 Emphatic
6.11.4 Reciprocals
6.12 Coordination
6.12.1 Conjunctive
6.12.2 Disjunctive
6.12.3 Adversative/Contrastive
6.12.4 Causal
6.13 Kinship Terms
6.13.1 Non-Affinal
6.13.2 Affinal 
6.14 Forms of Address and Reference
6.15 Politeness Strategies
6.16 Domain Analysis
6.17 Language Shift, Retention and Death

This will include various charts, blank phono-logical and morphological tables and different questionnaires mentioned in the text. It will include among others the following:

  • Basic Word List of 400 Words
  • Basic Sentences
  • IPA Phonetic Chart For Vowels and Consonants
  • Blank Chart For Vowels And Consonants
  • Basic Syntactic And Morphological Information
  • Questionnaire on Word Order
  • Questionnaire on Negation
  • Questionnaire on Interrogation
  • Questionnaire on Complementation
  • Questionnaire on Compound Verbs
  • Questionnaire on Dative Subjects
  • Questionnaire on Reduplication
  • Questionnaire on Tense, Aspect and Mood
  • Questionnaire on Domain Analysis
  • Questionnaire on Language Shift, Retention And Death
  • Questionnaire on Testing Acceptability Level of A Language

  • ISBN 9783895864018. LINCOM Handbooks in Linguistics 17. 360p. 2001.
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