November 10, 2006

More Field Linguistics Books

Here are some additions to Arnold's and Mark's suggested readings on linguistic fieldwork.

  • Bob Dixon's 1983 Searching for Aboriginal Languages: Memoirs of a Field Worker ( New York: University of Queensland Press. Reprinted 1989 by the University of Chicago Press.) is a fascinating memoir of his work in Australia.
  • Also about Australia is Forty Years On: Ken Hale and Australian languages, a collection of essays about the work of Ken Hale and related topics, including a piece by Ken's widow Sally and one by Geoff O'Grady, another of the greats of that generation of Australianists. Further information is available here.
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy writer Sheri Tepper has written two books that deal with linguistic fieldwork The more recent of the two, The Companions (New York: Harper Collins, 2003) is explicitly about linguistic fieldwork on an alien planet. Her earlier book After Long Silence (New York: Bantam Books, 1987), which is one of my favorites, is not explicitly about fieldwork but turns out to be. I can't reveal more without spoiling it. If you think your tastes are like mine, read it.
  • Some textbooks of field methods contain interesting anecdotes or philosophical discussions. You might enjoy Bert Vaux and Justin Cooper's Introduction to Linguistic Field Methods The first edition was published by LINCOM Europa. There's a new edition of whose status I am uncertain. Anvita Abbi's A Manual of Linguistic Field Work and Structures of Indian Languages (Munich: LINCOM EUROPA) is interesting for its focus on fieldwork in India.
Posted by Bill Poser at November 10, 2006 09:18 PM