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Linguistic Fieldwork B


Admission requirements

Linguistic Fieldwork B can only be followed after successful completion of Linguistic Fieldwork A. This also means that the pre-requisites that apply to Linguistic Fieldwork A apply for Linguistic Fieldwork B.


Linguistic Fieldwork B builds on Linguistic Fieldwork A, where the students have been introduced to the methods of linguistic fieldwork.

In Linguistic Fieldwork B, students continue working with a native speaker of a language of an unfamiliar or under-described language. This may be the same speaker that was available during Fieldwork A.

In Fieldwork B, the focus will first be on deepening the understanding of the target language, for instance, by studying the grammar beyond the clause level (clause combining strategies, embedded constructions, or ‘information structure’). In the second half of the course, students also work on a topic of their own choice. At least once a week students work independently with the speaker, in groups of 2-3 students.

If the speaker of Linguisic Fieldwork A is not available for Linguistic Fieldwork B, we will work with a speaker of a different language. In this case, the first half of the course will be spent on investigating the basic phonology and morpho-syntax of the language, while in the second half, students work on a topic of their own choice.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students will have experience working with an unfamiliar language and will be able to:

  • record, transcribe, and annotate speech data of the language through the interaction with a native speaker

  • collect data through applying various fieldwork methods

  • compile a lexicon and textual materials using Fieldworks Language Explorer

  • transcribe texts in ELAN and provide time-aligned glossed texts by working with FLEx and ELAN together

  • apply adequate data management techniques and store the collected data in a systematic and transparent manner

  • apply theoretical and descriptive linguistic knowledge to analyse primary data

  • write a coherent description of a linguistic topic


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminars, own research and hands-on training.

Assessment method

As midterm paper, students submit a first draft of the description of their research results. The revision of this paper will be part of the final paper. The final paper will also contain a section about the topic of their own choice.

Appendix with a lexicon and a glossed and translated text in the language that has been researched.

The final mark is a weighted average of the following components:

  • Class attendance and performance in field sessions: 30%

  • Midterm paper: 20%

  • Final paper (revised midterm paper, with lexicon and glossed & translated text): 40%


Students can resit the final paper.

Exam review

Mid-term papers are thoroughly discussed in class. Students will be given the opportunity to inspect their graded papers within a month after disclosure of the results.

Reading list

We will use chapters of the following textbook as background literature during the course. The book is available in the library.

Bowern, Claire. 2008. Linguistic Fieldwork: A practical guide. Palgrave Macmillan.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Teacher: Prof. Dr. M.A.F. Klamer

Coordinator of Studies: A.J. de Koning MA

Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats