Methodological Thoughts from the Linguistic Field

  • William D. Davies Department of Linguistics, The University of Iowa, 553 English Philosophy Bldg;, Iowa City, Iowa
Keywords: field linguistics, generative linguistics, direct elicitation, Bahasa Madura (Madurese)


Data are the heart and soul of any linguistic research. Regardless of how incisive an analysis might be, or how clever, it can never be any better than the data it is based upon. For the field linguist gathering data, important considerations include the selection of informants, the number of informants selection, and data collection techniques. Different research objectives, be they descriptive, prescriptive or theory-driven, require techniques appropriate to those particular goals and should be evaluated within the context of inquiry. What follows is a consideration of the techniques generally used by field linguists with a general descriptive goal within the framework of generative linguistics.


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