About the Journal

Call for papers:

Special Issue of Semantic Fieldwork Methods



Collecting semantic data:

a sample of individual practices


A number of papers and books have been published that discuss what tasks can be used to gather semantic data (e.g. Zelig and Voegelin 1953, Hayes 1954, Carden 1970, Matthewson 2004, Bochnak and Matthewson 2015, Lahaussois and Vuillermet 2019). For instance, contributions in Bochnak and Matthewson (2015) propose methods for investigating particular semantic phenomena, thus in that volume Cover (2015) shows how to use truth-value judgements to investigate TAM categories in a language. To our knowledge, how these tasks are concretely implemented by linguists has not yet been a focus in print (though see e.g. Schütze 2005, Vander Klok 2019 where implementation is discussed). For instance, when applying some of the proposed methods in one’s own practice, some of the questions that arise may be: in a truth-value judgement task, how should I go about explaining the task to my consultant(s)? What terminology should I use? Should I work one-on-one or with groups? (A larger though non-exhaustive list of the types of questions of interest can be consulted at https://osf.io/vmqjb/.) We think that having an overview of how linguists go about implementing these methods is important for several reasons, e.g:

(i) the particular implementation of well-known methods can condition the results the linguist obtains. So, being aware of the issues surrounding particular implementations can help us steer clear of potential confounds and/or help with data replication;

(ii) different consultants or communities may need particular implementations for specific tasks to be used effectively;

(iii) semanticists may appreciate having this review to use as a guide when wanting to implement a particular method in their practice.


Call for submissions

Following a roundtable organized at Sinn und Bedeutung 2020, Jérémy Pasquereau and Lisa Matthewson invite scholars using semantic elicitation methods to contribute to a special issue of Semantic Fieldwork Methods that aspires to offer an overview of individual linguists’ practices in their particular data-collection situations.

We welcome contributions dedicated to discussing any aspect of the implementation of semantic elicitation methods such as a) a presentation of your personal experience/practice of implementing semantic elicitation methods or b) a comparative study of the pros and cons of using one method vs another (e.g. individual vs collective elicitation sessions).



Important dates

Initial expression of interest: 1 February 2021

Submission: 1 June 2021

Decision: 1 September 2021

Final manuscript: 1 November 2021

Anticipated publication date: January 2022




Jérémy Pasquereau



Lisa Matthewson



Department of Linguistics

University of British Columbia

Totem Field Studioes, 2613 West Mall

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Focus and Scope

Semantic Fieldwork Methods is dedicated to the discussion of innovative techniques and materials for use in semantic and pragmatic fieldwork. We invite contributions which explain and illustrate how hypotheses about meaning can be tested in a fieldwork setting. 

Peer Review Process

Each paper is reviewed by two reviewers and by a journal editor. Reviewers are experts in fieldwork methodology, the linguistic topic addressed in the paper, and/or the language(s) discussed in the paper. 

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.