About the Journal

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. 

Current Issue

Vol. 4 No. 2 (2022): Special issue (part 2): Collecting semantic data: A sample of individual practices

This is part two of a two-part special issue entitled 'Collecting semantic data: A sample of individual practices', co-edited by Lisa Matthewson and Jérémy Pasquereau. The first part of the special issue appeared earlier in 2022. 

Original call for papers for the issue:

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).

Published: 2022-12-12
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