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Multilingual elicitation in a multilingual fieldwork setting

  • In semantic fieldwork, it is common to use a language other than the language under investigation for presenting linguistic materials to the language consultants, e.g. discourse contexts in acceptability judgment tasks. Previous works commenting on the use of a ‘meta-language’ or ‘language of wider communication’ in this sense (AnderBois and Henderson 2015; Matthewson 2004) have argued that this practice is not methodologically inferior to the exclusive use of the object language for elicitation, but that the fieldworker needs to be alert to potential influences of the meta-language or, indeed, the object language, on the elicited judgments. Thus, the choice of a language for presenting discourse contexts is an integral component of fieldwork methodology. This paper provides a research report with a focus on this component. It describes a multilingual fieldwork setting offering several potential meta-languages, which the fieldworker and the consultants master to varying degrees. The choice of the languages in this setting is discussed with regard to methodological, social and practical considerations and related to selected, more general methodological questions regarding semantic fieldwork practice.

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Author:Anne MuchaGND
Parent Title (English):Semantic field methods
Publisher:Department of Linguistics, University of British Columbia
Place of publication:Vancouver
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2022
Date of Publication (online):2022/11/11
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
Tag:elicitation; meta-language; multilingualism; research report
GND Keyword:Diskurs; Feldforschung; Forschungsbericht; Mehrsprachigkeit; Metasprache; Methodologie; Objektsprache; Semantik
Page Number:21
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Program areas:G1: Beschreibung und Erschließung Grammatischen Wissens
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt