November 10, 2006

Field linguists at work

Now that I've gotten around to posting suggestions of books that show linguists at work, correspondents are writing to fill in gaps in my list.  My list had a couple of items depicting field linguistics, but I missed several good books about field work.

Curtis Booth writes to nominate Leanne Hinton's wonderful collection of essays on California Indian languages, Flutes of Fire.  To which Peter Austin adds Paul Newman and Martha Ratliff's Linguistic Fieldwork, a collection of essays by a number of accomplished field linguists about all aspects of the field experience, and Mark Abley's Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages, specifically on working with endangered languages, including revitalizing them.

For sociolinguistic fieldwork, I know of nothing quite like these volumes about traditional field linguistics.  My current best recommendation is Penny Eckert's 1989 volume Jocks and Burnouts, because it treats both quantitative research and ethnographic description, and because it's engagingly written.

zwicky at-sign csli period stanford period edu

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at November 10, 2006 09:56 AM