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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 as for Fieldwork A.

In Fieldwork B, the focus will first be on deepening the understanding of the target language, either by extending and improving the understanding of topics already studied, or by studying new topics such as syntax and information structure. In the second half of the course, students also work on a topic of their own choice.

If the speaker of Linguistic 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

  • 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


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminars, own research and hands-on training.

  • We will meet twice every week: once for an elicitation session and once for a data discussion meeting. Students will be responsible for carrying out elicitation sessions, and transcribing and analysing the data. In the data discussion meetings we will address practical issues as they arise, and we will discuss proposed linguistic analyses for the collected data.

  • All students will have to prepare the field session in advance, take notes during the recording sessions, transcribe, gloss, and translate the collected data. For each field session, two “session leaders” will be chosen. Session leaders will prepare and lead the elicitation session.

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 target language.

It is advised to consult sections 1.4, 2, and 7 in the Portal Academic Skills.

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

  • Participation (class attendance, performance in field session, active participation in class discussions on data analysis and other topics): 25%

  • Midterm paper or presentation: 25%

  • Final paper (revised midterm paper/presentation, with lexicon and glossed & translated text): 50%


The final paper can be resubmitted as a resit.

Inspection and feedback

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 My Studymap is mandatory

General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats