Ep 16: Remote Fieldwork with Richard T. Griscom

This week’s episode is with Richard T. Griscom, a post-doctoral researcher at Leiden University. Richard obtained his bachelor’s and PhD degrees from the University of Oregon. Richard’s research focuses on language documentation, fieldwork methodology, and functional-typological linguistic description and theory, with a special emphasis on the languages of East Africa. Over the past five years, he has been working with the Asimjeeg Datooga and the Hadzabe, both endangered minority language communities of northern Tanzania. He is a recipient of two grants from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme and is a depositor at the Endangered Languages Archive

Richard looks at audio and video recordings with Hadza researchers in Domanga, Tanzania (Photo credit Nadia Jassim)

Things mentioned in this episode:

Richard’s equipment:

Richard crosses the Sibiti River in Tanzania with Yohani Mangi and Yonah Ndege, two speakers of Asimjeeg Datooga

Ep 15: Rethinking the ‘field’ in Fieldwork with Hannah Gibson

This episode is with Hannah Gibson, who is a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Essex. She holds an MA and a PhD in Linguistics from SOAS University of London, and BA in Swahili and Law from the same institution. Her research is primarily concerned with linguistic variation, particularly why and how languages change. Much of her work explores the syntax and semantics of the Bantu languages, with a focus on languages spoken in Eastern Africa. She has conducted data collection in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and the UK.

In this episode, Hannah and I discuss her research, what her daily research routine looks like, and why we should think critically about what we mean when we use the term “fieldwork”. 

Data collection for siSwati with Sikhumbuzo Khoza, Judith Nkuna & Kyoung-Won Jeong (Bongane Nyambi out of shot)

Things mentioned in the episode:

Data collection for Rangi (and hanging out on a Sunday afternoon), Haubi Central Tanzania

Ep 14: Fieldwork in the Time of COVID-19 with Guillem Belmar

Today’s episode is Guillem Belmar, a Linguistics PhD student at UC Santa Barbara. In this episode, we discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on fieldwork. This discussion was inspired by UCSB grad students who have started a group to share and debate online fieldwork, and this post on social media from Guillem, which urged fieldworkers to pause field trip plans in light of the pandemic.

Guillem has many years of experience in language revitalization strategies as well as documentation of endangered or minoritized languages. He has worked on language promotion for many European languages and runs the #Europeminoritylanguages project on social media. He is currently involved with the project Maintaining Indigenous Languages within Immigrant Oaxacan Communities in the United States (MICOP/UCSB).

Guillem presenting at a conference in Malta, on Language Revitalization and Digital presence

Things mentioned in this episode:

Other things:

Guillem talking about the importance of using and documenting minority languages, on Frisian TV in Frisian (where Guillem lived, worked and did research 2017-2019)

Ep 13: Jeff Good on Facilitating Language Documentation in Cameroon

Welcome to Season Two! This is the first episode of Season Two on Field Notes. Although we are living in strange times and fieldwork is not currently possible due to the COVID-19, Field Notes will continue publishing weekly episodes this season to share information and experiences from the field which will hopefully benefit our listeners in the future (when fieldwork is possible again). Until then, hang in there, we are all in this together.

This episode’s guest is Jeff Good. Jeff is a professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Buffalo in New York. Jeff is a typologist and his research focuses on lesser-documented Batoid languages in the lower Fungom region of Northwest Cameroon. In this episode, Jeff shares how he started working in the lower Fungom region and how he now works with scholars in Cameroon to facilitate language documentation and research from his base in Buffalo.

Jeff Good with two of the last rememberers of the Lung variety, Baba Sah Nicholas Che (left) and Nfuah Kio Joseph (right) 

Things mentioned in this episode:

A multidisciplinary training workshop organized by KPAAM-CAM in Yaoundé, Cameroon

Ep 12: Miroslav Valeš on Fieldwork in the Americas & Spain

This week’s episode is with Miroslav Valeš, who has a  Ph.D. in Spanish Philology from Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic and is currently Head of the Department of Romance Languages at the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic. In this interview, Miroslav discusses his long and varied fieldwork career, including his experiences working with the Lakhota (USA), Shuar (Ecuador) and A Fala (Spain) communities.

Content Warning:

There is some sensitive material discussed in this interview, including traditional practices that some people may find disturbing.

Transcribing an interview (Community-Driven Documentation and Description of A Fala)

Things mentioned in this episode: 

Thank you to everyone who listened, followed and subscribed to Field Notes during our inaugural season (special shoutout to listeners who sent in questions for our Q&A episodes 9 & 10!). Season 2 will be announced on the Field Notes website (here) and on social media (Instagram and Twitter), @lingfieldnotes

Listen here on Podbean, or on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or other podcast apps via RSS. 

Ep 11: Alex Garcia on Monolingual Fieldwork in The Philippines

This week’s episode is with Alex Garcia (University of Barcelona). Alex works with the Northern Alta Community in the Philippines. In this episode, Alex discusses how he started working with speakers of Nothern Alta, and how he learned Northern Alta in order to conduct monolingual fieldwork. 

After a day of recording, with Marylin Gallego & an Alta family from Dianed village (2017)

Things mentioned in this episode

Listen here on Podbean, or on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or other podcast apps via RSS.

Ep 10: Fieldwork Q&A with Vera Ferreira & Hugo Cardoso (Part 2)

Today’s episode is part two of our Q&A episode with Vera Ferreira (CIDLeS & ELDP) & Hugo Cardoso (University of Lisbon). In this episode, we discuss questions from listeners such as “How can fieldworkers deal with the often tragic and uncomfortable circumstances in the field?”, “How can we reduce our environmental impact in the field?” and “How to deal with difficult recording situations”. Just a reminder, the responses to these questions are based on our own experiences in the field and do not necessarily reflect best practice (i.e., your mileage may vary). 

Things mentioned in this episode:

Recording a walkabout in Trincomalee guided by Derrick Keil (photo by Jennifer White)

Thank you to our listeners who sent in questions, if you have a question about linguistic fieldwork, you can email it to fieldnotespod@gmail.com

If you would like to hear more about Vera’s fieldwork with the Fala (Spain), Minderico (Portugal) and Bavarian (Germany) communities, you can listen to Field Notes episode two. If you would like to learn more about Hugo’s work with the Diu and Kerala communities (India) and the Portuguese Burgher community (Eastern Sri Lanka), you can listen to episode four.

Listen here on Podbean, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Casual talk with Minderico speakers in the streets of Minde (photo from Vera Ferreira)

Ep 9: Fieldwork Q&A with Vera Ferreira & Hugo Cardoso (Part 1)

Today’s episode is with Vera Ferreira (CIDLeS & ELDP) & Hugo Cardoso (University of Lisbon). In this episode, I sat down with Hugo and Vera to discuss questions sent in from listeners, such as “How can collected data be shared in a meaningful way with communities”, “What do researchers prioritise during their documentation projects?” We also tried to name the best thing we’ve each eaten in the field (it wasn’t easy).

If you would like to hear more about Vera’s fieldwork with the Fala (Spain), Minderico (Portugal) and Bavarian (Germany) communities, you can listen to Field Notes episode two. If you would like to learn more about Hugo’s work with the Diu and Kerala communities (India) and the Portuguese Burgher community (Eastern Sri Lanka), you can listen to episode four.

Below, some food photos from my fieldwork in Amami:

udon noodles
tereda (sea snails)
tsukemono (pickles), mochi, tempura veggies & green tea during a recording session
keihan rice
iseebi

Ep 8: Lauren Gawne on Funding Fieldwork

This week’s episode is with Lauren Gawne who does fieldwork in Nepal working with speakers of Yolmo and Syuba. Lauren has experience as both a successful grant applicant and as a grant committee assessor. In this episode, she shares her advice for navigating applying for funding in an overly-competitive and under-resourced environment. One of the essential points Lauren makes is that struggling to find funding doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of your work or your project, or your commitment to the community you’re working with. In this episode, Lauren shares how she has funded her work and her advice to researchers looking to apply for fieldwork funding. Also, read the instructions.

This photo is archived at ELAR and can be found here.

Things mentioned in this episode:

This photo is archived at ELAR and can be found here.

List of Funding Opportunities (from listeners):

Ep 7: Community Collaboration for Language Documentation in the Tanzanian Rift Valley with Andrew Harvey

This episode is with Andrew Harvey, who is a documentary linguist working with speakers of two previously un-documented languages, Ihanzu and Gorwaa (Tanzania). Andrew discusses his research, the seredipitous beginning to his work with the Gorwaa community, and how community collaboration has impacted the documentation and description of Ihanzu and Gorwaa.

Elicitation with Ayi Raheli

Things mentioned in this episode: