Episode 20: Andrew Harvey & Richard Griscom on Teamwork in the Field

URL: https://fieldnotespod.com/2020/06/04/ep-20-andrew-harvey-richard-griscom-on-teamwork-in-the-field/

[introduction music]

Martha Tsutsui Billins (host): Hello, and welcome to Field Notes, a podcast about linguistic fieldwork. I’m Martha Tsutsui Billins, and today’s episode is with Richard Griscom and Andrew Harvey on doing fieldwork as a team. Richard and Andrew have both been on Field Notes before. Andrew was on last season in Episode 7 talking about his work with the Gorwaa and community collaboration, and Richard was on earlier in this season, Episode 16, to speak about his work with the Datooga and technology in the field. And for this episode, Richard and Andrew have just recently returned from the field. They are both working on individual projects from ELDP, the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, but their projects are very collaborative, and in this episode, they’ll be sharing what that experience was like, what the challenges were, what the benefits were, and what it was like to have a teammate in the field. We also answer two listener questions in this episode, one about taking a partner with you to do fieldwork and the other about how MA students, or really anyone who’s hoping to break into fieldwork, can do so when there don’t seem to be a lot of opportunities at their institution.


MTB: Thank you, Richard and Andrew, for coming back on Field Notes.

Richard T. Griscom: Glad to be here. Thanks for inviting us.

Andrew Harvey: Yeah. Thanks for having us, Marti.

MTB: No problem. So to start, could you both briefly outline your research and how your research interests align and differ a little bit?

Richard T. Griscom: Yeah. Well, there’s a lot of overlap between our research interests, so we’re both very interested in the languages and cultures of the Rift Valley area of Tanzania in East Africa. We’re both also very strong supporters of language documentation and open science more generally, and then also vocal empowerment within endangered language communities, so we share a lot in terms of our research interests, but we also bring a number of different ideas to the work that we’re doing together. Andrew, for example, he’s very passionate about community-based language documentation methods. And when he started his project together with the Gorwaa in Tanzania, I think that he really set a new standard for community-based research in the region, so his local researcher model, it’s based on this idea of a very strong relationship between the community and the linguist, and this is something that it’s been around for some time in the field, especially in North America and in Australia, but is still relatively new in Africa. And on my side, I try to match Andrew’s interests and expertise in community-based research with new technological solutions and approaches to solving the challenges that are posed by community-based research. So in that way, we do share a lot of things in common, but we also complement each other really well with different interests.

Andrew Harvey: And I think in terms of our life situations, as well, Richard and I are quite similar. Career-wise, we’re both early career researchers. We haven’t finished our PhD programs all that far apart from each other, in the first two or three years of postdoc life, and we’re both based, no random chance, we’re both based at Leiden University. I guess a couple other differences between Richard and I right now in terms of our project, Richard’s grant is focused exclusively on Hadza, whereas my grant is focused on Gorwaa, Hadza, and Ihanzu, so that sort of translates into different sort of foci and different priorities both in the field as well as back home when we’re doing our analysis.

MTB: Can we talk more about the recent field trip that you guys did together?

Richard T. Griscom: Yeah, sure. Well, there’s a bit of background to this project that we’ve just started. First, I want to say that this last trip was the first trip of two coordinated projects funded by the Endangered Language Documentation Programme that focus on endangered languages of northern Tanzania. So both Andrew and I, prior to starting these two projects together, we were both awarded IGS, or Individual Graduate Scholarship, grants from ELDP as PhD students, and then after these grants, we also both were awarded Firebird Fellowships, so this was a total coincidence that we’re working in the same region of Tanzania, and then we were both kind of oriented towards the same kind of research by virtue of being awarded these grants. And somehow, before we’d even met each other, we were in Tanzania at the same time, and we decided to hold a workshop together in Babati, which is a town in Tanzania. And at this time in the summer of 2018, we developed this workshop together, and we invited members of the communities that we were working with at the time, so the Gorwaa, and the Hadza, and Asimjeeg Datooga, and then also Ihanzu, we invited them all to participate. And I think we had a really good time. We really enjoyed putting the workshop together. We really enjoyed running the workshop, and it was also very well received by the participants. So we kind of had it in the back of our minds that we wanted to do something together in the future.

Later, Andrew was awarded an IPF grant from ELDP that’s an individual postdoctoral fellowship, and that grant was to work together with the Gorwaa, and the Hadza, and the Ihanzu communities, so actually three communities within one grant. And I had been interested in doing a project with the Hadza for some time, and I spoke with Andrew about it, and he said that he would be really excited to work together with me if I submitted another proposal to ELDP for a second IPF grant that would focus specifically just on Hadza, but the project would be integrated together with his grant. And ELDP was actually really supportive, and then I received my own IPF grant from them, and now we’re working closely together for the next one and a half years supporting each other with different aspects of these two projects that are coordinated together. And as Andrew mentioned earlier, the two projects have slightly different goals and orientations, but there’s a lot of overlap between them.

Andrew Harvey: So our project goals are, they overlap in places, and then they sort of diverge, and they complement each other. So for example, I am working with Gorwaa speaker communities, Hadza speaker communities, and Ihanzu speaker communities, so these are three different languages from three different language phyla, in fact, and we’re sort of documenting linguistic material that they deem important to them and their larger sort of communities. So I use this as sort of the bread and the butter of the project, but I’m also sort of doing structural, or structured, elicitation, and this sort of forms the basis of the grammatical analyses comparing selected structures in these languages with sort of features that had been identified as shared in common among languages in the Rift Valley area.

Richard, on the other hand, is working specifically with Hadza community members to create a representative corpus of naturalistic and elicited speech recordings, mainly to document variation and language contact across these sort of various traditional Hadza regions, because the Hadza live in smaller communities that are sort of spread out around Lake Eyasi. We had this thought that since they are in contact, different places are in contact with different people, that there might be variation throughout the varieties of Hadza that are spoken through these different places, and so in addition to collecting and building a documentation or corpus of Hadza speech as it occurs all around Lake Eyasi, Richard is interested in sort of taking this stuff and distributing it back to Hadza speakers in sort of an accessible, digital format, as well as we want to sort of host a regional language endangerment and preservation workshop. Both of these projects have sort of a significant emphasis on working with local speaker communities, and in fact, the majority of naturalistic recordings are being made by local speakers themselves, and this was something that sort of grew out of both of our Firebird Fellowships in sort of different ways. And because basically this was the first time both of us were working with the Hadzabe people, the main focus of this period in the field was to find speakers who could do this kind of work and train them to do audiovisual language documentation independently. And because, like I mentioned, the Hadzabe people are in sparsely inhabited communities spread across a vast, and in some places difficult to access, part of north-central Tanzania, being able to do this was predicated on sort of this big work of visiting communities, understanding local situations, and finding appropriate candidates for local researchers, then bringing them all together in one place, training them in audiovisual language documentation, and then providing sort of follow-up and logistical support — so, for example, bringing electricity to remote communities that weren’t electrified, etc. So two of our projects had sort of different underlying goals, but sort of in terms of the practical aspect, the sort of superstructure needed to be set up, and that sort of really put us close together as we were building this project. I mean, sort of in the end, the goal is bigger than what one person could reasonably accomplish on their own, and I think Richard and I both realized that, and I think ELDP did as well.

MTB: Can you talk more about that? Like working as a team, how was that better, or more beneficial, or more challenging than just going in by yourself?

Richard T. Griscom: One of the obvious benefits is that you can get more done. If you have two people, then you can do more things, but also, there are a lot of tasks that one person can do for both people, so for example, when we were applying for research clearance, Andrew was able to apply for research clearance for both of us, and other things like planning workshop sessions if there’s one kind of session that one of us is interested in, then we can take care of that for both of us, but also we complement each other, as we were saying earlier. So there’s just one kind of task that one of us is more interested in. So, for example, so Andrew is a very good negotiator, and he’s always very good at meeting a new community and kind of engaging with people one-on-one and setting things up on that kind of interpersonal level, whereas for me, I’m often more interested in some of the technical side of things. We can also share a number of resources, so we have a shared office space in Tanzania. This also means that you can save money. One person paying for an office or paying for equipment, they’re spending the same amount of money that we are, but there’s two of us, so we’re essentially paying half the amount of money that we normally would.

It’s also, of course, really valuable to have a companion when you’re in the field. As we all know, it’s very challenging doing fieldwork, for a number of reasons. And you might encounter situations which are very frustrating, very perplexing, and maybe you don’t know exactly what to do, and if you have someone else nearby you can talk to who’s in a similar situation and who knows very well the situation that you’re in, then it can be very helpful to get feedback from them. Another thing that’s really good about working with another person is that it forces you to plan. I’m typically a bad planner, so if I’m on my own, I wait until the last minute, and then I kind of rush, and then things get done very quickly, and maybe I make some mistakes. But when you’re working with someone else, especially for an extended period of time with multiple field trips, you really need to plan the entire schedule. So for months before we even started this project, we were having regular meetings online talking about our work plan, talking about our data management plan, all of the steps of the entire process from the beginning to the end. So for that reason, now, I feel like it was, for me, I’m more relaxed, because I know everything has basically been taken care of. You can’t plan everything in advance here. Obviously, you can’t anticipate what’s going to happen, but to the best of our ability, we try to plan everything out beforehand. But finally, we also benefit from each other’s experience in the field.

So Andrew, for example, prior to this project, he already had experience driving a motorcycle in Tanzania, and not that many field workers, as far as I know, drive a motorcycle on their field site, and it’s kind of a unique experience and a unique ability. And when we were starting this project, I was originally planning to get a large vehicle like a land cruiser that I was going to live in, like one of those rock climbers living in the back of a van, but as the situation changed, it became clear that that was really not feasible. It was going to be too expensive. And Andrew said, “Well, why don’t we just both drive motorcycles?” Immediately, everyone in my family, of course, is very concerned, but Andrew, he already had the experience. He already had the contacts within Tanzania to connect me with an instructor who could teach me how to drive a motorcycle in Tanzania, and if that wasn’t the case, if Andrew hadn’t had that experience, if I was working on my own, it just simply wouldn’t have been possible. It was a game changer, for sure.

Andrew Harvey: Also, you know, okay, well, the transport on one side is one thing, but then actually understanding the land through which you’re moving. I had used a motorcycle, but it was in a much smaller area of Tanzania. Gorwaa is, you can sort of be in the middle, and you can drive for an hour to an hour and a half, and then you’re in one of the furthest communities of Gorwaa speakers. It’s a very sort of compact area, whereas the Hadza-speaking community, and then plus the Ihanzu-speaking community, there’s sort of this wide, sort of this very vast area of northern Tanzania probably 10 to 20 times the size of the field area where I’d been working before, and I knew how to drive a motorcycle, but I knew very little about the terrain that I was moving through.

And this is sort of one of the practical areas where Richard came in, because he worked very closely with speakers of Asimjeeg Datooga, who overlap in several areas with the Hadza-speaking communities. So he was sort of very intimately familiar with sort of these smaller communities, how far apart they were, where the rivers used to sort of break the roads or flood in between the roads, what paths were traversable, which ones were okay during dry period and which ones were okay during the rains, and also like places where we could go and sleep at night, like we could sleep at different people’s bomas or compounds in the evening. Yeah, and also just sort of judging differences, because, I mean, Richard’s been right up to the northern side of Serengeti working with speakers of Asimjeeg Datooga, so he had sort of this larger familiarity with the area that I didn’t have and probably much more of a comfort level covering and sort of working in these really, really large areas, which was sort of different for me. I could usually plan to be sleeping in one place pretty reliably in the same place for all of my work, but now we’re in this situation where we have to bring things like a tent, and we have to sort of have different sort of fallbacks and places to stay depending on where we are because the space is just so large.

MTB: Wow, that’s cool. So did you camp?

Richard T. Griscom: Yes, we did. Yeah, we did a lot of camping. When we started, we weren’t really sure what it was going to be like, because although I had visited a lot of these areas before, I hadn’t really visited that many Hadza camps in the area, though we both had our own tents, and we had our own camping stoves and all the kind of regular camping gear that you would take with you if you’re going to camp in a forest. And most of that equipment we did end up using, but some of it we did not. So the camping stove, for example, we essentially never used. Well, one of the reasons was that it wasn’t possible to get access to good fuel, but also we realized that wherever you go, if there are people living, they’re cooking something, right, and they’re usually very happy to share it with you, especially if you’re there as a guest and you’re working with the community on this sort of project. So we didn’t have any problems with getting food.

And then for water, I forgot to mention we did bring two somewhat expensive water filters, so a water filter with a built-in pump, and you can essentially use any water source that you find, so it can be a stream or a pond, or anything really, and you can get clean, drinkable water out of that. So that was definitely a necessary piece of equipment.

But even in the smaller villages, we would oftentimes need to camp, because just wasn’t a place for us to sleep otherwise. So typically, we would be packing our equipment on the back of our motorcycles, and during our initial visits, we were just driving around asking for directions. “How do you get to Sungu?” And you just keep asking until you get there. And that’s how we did it the first few times, and that’s another reason why it’s really critical to have a team of two, because one of us on our own, easily we could have gotten lost, so it would be much more dangerous, in fact, driving out into these remote areas without anyone else.

MTB: What about animals? Are there any dangerous animals out there that you guys had to worry about?

Andrew Harvey: I guess the interesting part of sort of the Lake Eyasi area is that it’s one of the sort of few places in Tanzania where people are still sort of living where there are still larger populations of large sort of African megafauna. So I remember on Christmas morning, we woke up to, well, lions roaring. You can hear them from far away. I don’t want to exaggerate. It’s not like we were face to face or anything, but you can hear them from quite far away, so there were lions, and like there were certain periods of time during the day when local people will not be walking along different paths, especially if they’re closer to the water. So towards the evening in Domanga one of the areas where we do our work, we’re explicitly sort of not allowed to go out riding our motorcycles in or out of the community because people would say, “Well, these are the paths that the elephants use, and you really need to be careful, because they’re large animals, and they don’t necessarily like to be sort of come upon at unawares.” We’ve seen lots and lots of antelope of different kinds, lots of really nice birds. Yeah. It’s a very sort of cool place to be working if you’re okay with large animals.

MTB: Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s so cool. What about some of the difficulties or challenges?

Richard T. Griscom: Well, I guess one thing, so as I was mentioning earlier that you have to do a lot of preplanning. Well, that is sort of an extra step if you don’t like to preplan, so you really have to figure out everything in advance, because you can’t wait until the last minute. There’s simply not enough time, and you might not be in the same location when some decision needs to be made, and then you might put yourself in a position that could cause a rift between you and your teammate, and you definitely want to avoid that.

Andrew Harvey: And coming up with, like, contingencies as well. Like we would often say, “Okay, this is our plan that we’ve planned out. What happens if this goes wrong? What do we do? Or what happens if this goes wrong?” And we spent an awful lot of time sort of making these sort of like backdoor plans to make sure that if something did go wrong, whether we were together or apart, that we would know what we would be doing, where we would be, what sort of the fallout would be.

Richard T. Griscom: Yeah. I mean, in addition to that, even after you make the contingency plans, if something totally unexpected occurs, you can’t always make a decision on your own. Sometimes you have to consult your teammate before you can make a decision, and that can slow down the process a bit, but in general, you definitely, you need to be open to compromise, and you have to be comfortable not having the same level of control over your research project as you might if you were working on your own. So, a couple of other examples like the location of our office, if I was working on my own, my ideal office location might be somewhere in the middle of the bush in Hadza land, which maybe wouldn’t be very feasible, but because I’m working with Andrew and he’s also working with the Ihanzu, we realized that it would make sense to have our office closer to Ihanzu land. And, in fact, because of Andrew’s work plan (or his original work plan prior to the COVID-19 outbreak), it made sense for us to have the office there because he was planning to spend more time in the field than I was. But on Andrew’s side, perhaps, if it was only him, then he wouldn’t decide on his own to take on some of these new technological experiments that we were engaging in. For me, it’s something that is my passion, something that I’m interested in, and he had to make that compromise to get on board with me like, “Hey, let’s try out these new things.” And so far, it’s worked out okay, so I think we’re lucky there. 

Andrew Harvey: Yeah. As a little check-in, I would like to say that it has made things much more efficient. A bit of a learning curve. Bit of a learning curve, I think, for me as well as for the local researchers, but like especially given our situation now where neither of us really know when we’re going to be going back, it’s really great to be able to sort of constantly communicate with our people in their communities, which might be rather remote and difficult to get via telephone, so it’s been a real boon at this point for us to sort of stay in close contact. We can even see the transcriptions and recordings. We’re getting sent metadata every week, and I would not have been able to do that if I hadn’t been using the technologies that Richard has sort of developed for fieldwork.

Richard T. Griscom: So, one other side related to technology that’s perhaps a challenge connected to working collaboratively with another linguist, is any sort of data management or any sort of processing of data, you really have to keep track of all of the changes that you’re making. If you’re doing data backups, then you need to have a system in place for that. If you’re working together on a database of some kind, then you need to have some sort of system set up for either checking in or checking out if there’s not some sort of online platform that you can use to edit it together, so you just have to keep track of all those things. And again, there’s a positive side to that, because if you are taking notes on all the changes that you’re making, then that makes it easier for someone else to use, and later on, when, say, a third linguist or a group of other linguists takes interest in the resources that we’ve been developing, then there is much more thorough documentation of how those resources were developed, and they will be much more accessible.

Andrew Harvey: And speaking of documentation, I guess another kind of thing that needs to be closely documented is the finances, and this is sort of a real bummer. It’s no fun. Nobody wants to do it. We’re doing it in US dollars, we’re doing it in euro, as well as Tanzanian shillings, so it’s a bit of a faff, but this is something that if I was on my own, I probably wouldn’t need to, or I wouldn’t want to, keep… I can probably get away with not keeping as close tabs on it, but where it’s a project with, and we’re sharing resources, one of us is going out buying, say, bungee cords for the motorcycler. One of us is going out and paying for gas one day, or one of us is going out and buying laptops or sourcing laptops and getting them to Tanzania. So, okay, how do you divide up the costs, and who’s paying for what? Because a certain amount is put into each of our projects. If I’m paying 50% of three laptops and Richard is paying 75% of four or whatever, and you can already tell that my math is not the strongest by that example, but you need to be very, very careful, and you need to be constantly sort of updating who’s buying what and when.

MTB: Yeah. Can we talk a little bit about how your projects or how your work has had to change a little bit or maybe a lot in light of the COVID-19 crisis? Because Andrew, I know you’re not where you thought you would be, you know.

Andrew Harvey: I am supposed to be in Leiden in the Netherlands with Richard right now having a grand time doing data analysis. I travelled to a wedding in the US and now cannot get back into the Netherlands, at least for the coming couple weeks or so, because I am not a resident of the Netherlands. The way that my project is designed is that I spend most of my time in Tanzania, so I have Tanzanian residence, but I don’t have Dutch residence. So I’m currently at my Mom and Dad’s house in Canada, so it was a little bit unexpected, but I think I speak for Richard and myself here in saying that we were really lucky because we were both sort of on the ending parts of our time in Tanzania when this became sort of more of an issue travel-wise. We had already sort of set up rudimentary systems for reporting, our local researchers who were doing sort of this tremendous job and really sort of being these real researchers. Right? They’re going out, and they’re developing their own lines of inquiry, and they’re doing research independently, so they’re going out and doing recordings even when we can’t be there to visit and to see all the time. They’re out there. They’re being inquisitive, and they’re being innovative in their own ways. Based on the needs and the desires of their own communities, they’re going out and doing these great recordings, natural language recordings, on their own, and sort of communicating that data to us so we know what’s being recorded. We can provide feedback. So we were really lucky in that regard. We managed to get that set up, this sort of big, unwieldy system, before we had to leave, and who knows how long we’ll have to be away.

MTB: Yeah. So we got two listener questions. I thought we could have a crack at them and try to answer them. So okay, so here’s the first one. They’re both anonymous. The first one is, “I really love the podcast. I am a student of linguistics in Nijmegen, and our fieldwork opportunities have dried up here. I was wondering how you would suggest MA students hoping to be PhD could break into fieldwork without having any previous experience. There often seems to be the classic ‘You need experience to get experience’ phenomenon. However, I imagine that you and those you’ve had on your podcast would be excellent people to answer such a question. Thanks in advance.”

Andrew Harvey: You know, I think it’s important, first of all, to start small. Before you sort of choose to really commit to a big project in another part of the world, for example, and this is often the sort of big, big issue with conducting fieldwork as it’s commonly construed is to, you want to go, and you want to live among the X people and do this work for one year. That’s often the big reason why people can’t do it, because it’s expensive and it’s difficult. And Richard and I sort of discussed this, and I think we both agreed that it’s important to start small. So if you’ve never been to the field before, you should think about applying for a smaller funding source to actually go and visit the community, get some idea of community contacts. Where do the people live? How do they live? What are some good communities where you will have a place to sleep or you will have people who have the resources to look after you, where it’s easy to get food, or where it’s easy to access a hospital, and where the people seem to be most open to working with an annoying linguist asking them questions and distracting them from their regular daily routines? So I think that that’s important. You need to start small.

And if you can’t get funding to go to your ideal field site, which is sort of, as I said, often the single biggest expense, think about conducting linguistic fieldwork where you are. I mean, our colleague Hannah Gibson addressed this on your show a few weeks back, and I think it’s really worth repeating for a lot of reasons, and I’ll sort of repeat a part of that, in that we have this image of the linguistic fieldworker as the sort of pith-helmeted explorer visiting remote locations and working with people very different from themselves. This is largely a myth, but it’s one perpetuated by linguists, and I think of a specific example of a well-known linguist’s autobiography where, by page two, we’re already living in thatched huts and watching people make dugout canoes. The field is, in fact, everywhere, and with sort of a bit of creativity, even the plainest-seeming of phenomena can be made groundbreaking and can move our discipline forward. So I would ask your listener to challenge themselves. What would linguistic fieldwork look like in Nijmegen? What sort of linguistic genres exist in the community or among the people that you interact with? What sort of linguistic genres exist? What sort of rituals or narratives are unexplored? Is there a particular sort of scene where you might be able to do some interesting documentation there? So it doesn’t need to be far away from your own front door. It can be a community that you’re a part of. And everybody has interesting, intimate access to their different communities, so I think that’s worth sort of plumbing. I expect that for your listener, this is actually not a fully satisfying answer, though, as really sort of the opportunity to conduct linguistic fieldwork with the endangered languages of the world should be available to everyone who has the appropriate training and not just the lucky few who chance into funding, like Richard and I, or those who already come from place of privilege.

I mean, after all, documentary and descriptive linguistics is not some sort of add-on work that we do because it’s nice. It is in fact sort of labour central to the discipline of linguistics and should be regarded and funded for as such. And this isn’t only a question of the trained, highly-qualified linguists who are missing out. So, for example, Felix Ameka and Maria Terkourafi wrote, they sort of wonder aloud in a recent paper which I can attach the open access version in the show notes, they sort of wonder aloud in this paper what linguistics would look like had it been based on African language practices and data, and a similar sort of question to ask is, what would documentary linguistics look like if it had been based on the philosophies and practices of those people traditionally marginalized in academia? And it’s not simply a rhetorical question. I think it’s something that we should be taking seriously and we should be sort of taking these thoughts and these paradigms on board.

MTB: I wrote in with my own advice, but it was basically exactly the same as Andrew, just to try to think about fieldwork can be anywhere, so what fieldwork can you do outside your own door? And also, maybe there’s a way to do remote fieldwork if there are, or if there are diaspora speakers where he’s living. He said he didn’t have a specific community in mind, so if he’s open to working with people who have internet access, you can try to do something like that, especially in light of the COVID-19 situation. I think a lot of people are going to have to change how they’re doing their fieldwork, so that might be an option for him as well. Okay.

The next listener question, also anonymous, is, “I am a PhD student who has done one longish field trip last year. I’m getting ready to go back to the field for a final, shorter, follow-up trip to fill gaps before I write up my thesis. My partner wants to come with me into the field. Is this a bad idea? He is a hearty traveller, but not a researcher. If any of your guests have experience taking a partner into the field, I would like to know their experience and if they would recommend it. Thanks so much.” Richard, I saved this question specifically for you.

Richard T. Griscom: Well, thank you. I guess you must know I do have experience with this. I would say that it’s not necessarily a bad idea. That’s maybe how I would start. It can be very good for your relationship. If you think about it, going to the field is, for some people, sort of an extraordinary and unusual thing, and it’s an experience that maybe your partner might not know that much about, and if your partner joins you for that experience, then that can actually bring you a lot closer, because then they will understand you better and what you’re going through when you’re in the field. But having said that, it can definitely be very challenging — so it could be good for your relationship, it could be bad, and it could be a combination of the two, which is probably what happens most of the time. But generally speaking, it’s a good idea for your partner to visit for a short period of time rather than an entire field trip. So if it’s possible to schedule a vacation time at the end or in the middle of your field trip where they come, and then they visit you, and you’re not working, you’re just going around and relaxing, that’s a good way to do it. But also, you want to try and anticipate as many challenges as possible that you or your partner might experience if they come to join you in the field, and you do, as Andrew and I did when you’re starting a project together with someone else, you want to talk about contingencies, so something happens if you find, if your partner isn’t comfortable in a certain kind of situation, what alternatives are there? Also, certainly, as a linguist, I think it’s important to think about the linguistic side of things. Do they speak the local lingua franca? If they do, then that will give them access to a lot of those kind of day-to-day resources, such as going to buy food and water at the store, so then they aren’t reliant on you for all those kind of minor things. That will make the experience much more pleasant. So you want to consider that as well when you’re making this sort of decision whether or not to invite them. But certainly, if it’s for like a week or two just for vacation, pretty much any field site, I’m sure, would be fun for your partner.

MTB: I really want to know whether they end up doing it.

Andrew Harvey: We’ll have to put the question out to them, yeah, if… Yeah.

MTB: Yeah. Let us know. Write back in and let us know.

Richard T. Griscom: We want an anonymous yes or no.

MTB: Okay. Well, thank you guys so much for coming back on Field Notes. This was so fun and really informative. Where can our listeners learn more about your work and what you’re doing?

Richard T. Griscom: That’s a good question. Well, we’re setting up our first deposit right now, so we don’t really have a public online face for our project, but we do have our own personal websites, and then also a website for the research network that we’re members of. So I guess I’ll start with mine. So my website, which now has a new URL, is rgris.com. Yes, and the Rift Valley Network website, so there’s a website for the research network that we’re members of, is riftvalleynetwork.weebly.com.

MTB: Cool. Awesome. And what about you, Andrew?

Andrew Harvey: Mine is just andrew, as in my first name Andrew, and then dt, then my last name, harvey.com, I believe? Anyways, we can link it in the show notes, I’m sure.

MTB: I’ll link it in the show notes, yeah. Awesome. Great. Thanks, guys.

Andrew Harvey: Yeah. Thanks, Marti.

Richard T. Griscom: Yeah. Thank you. No, this was wonderful. I really enjoy your podcast. I’m glad we could be a part of it.

You’ve been listening to Field Notes, a podcast about linguistic fieldwork. This podcast is hosted and produced by Martha Tsutsui Billins with production help from Laura Tsutsui. Our music is by Lobo Loco, and our logo is by E.Vill Designs. If you have a question or a fieldwork experience to share, you can email us at fieldnotespod@gmail.com. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram @lingfieldnotes. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave us an Apple Podcast review. Thanks for listening!

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