Naomi Nagy

Linguistics at U of T


LING/ENGL 779/879:
Linguistic Field Methods

Course description

Students will learn about a (typically) non-Indo-European language by eliciting examples from an informant, rather than written descriptions of the language. Students learn how to work out the grammar (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics) of a language from raw data. Students will construct a grammar of a language based on data they collect, as well as learn about the culture of the language's speakers.  A rough syllabus is available.  An important aspect of the cultural component is the dinner prepared by the students at the end of the semester. All linguistics students and faculty are invited to join in to eat the dinner. 
In 2007, the language analyzed is Turkish.
In 2006, the language analyzed was Kisii, a language spoken in Kenya. Here's some references on Kenya.
In 2003, the language analyzed was Nepali. Here's some websites about Nepal. And here are the speakers and most of the students from the class.
In 2002, the language analyzed was Marathi, spoken in western India.
In 2001, the language analyzed was Haitian Creole spoken in Haiti.
In 1999, the language analyzed was Parisian Lebanese Arabic.
In 1998, the language was Thai, spoken in Thailand.  Here's pictures of 1998's Thai food feast.

Prerequisite: English/Linguistics 405 or 505, or equivalent, is required. Linguistics 605, 793, or 794 is desirable, but not required.

Information about the Linguistics Lab

Language informants

Do you speak a non-Indo-European language natively?

Each spring the department hires someone who is a native speaker of a language not common to this area to provide the data for this course. The speaker receives credit for the course and a small stipend, and participates in class every day.

If you are interested in doing this, or know someone who is, please contact the instructor.

This page was last updated by Naomi Nagy on August 26, 2009 .

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