The magic of names: a fieldworker's perspective

Aikhenvald, Alexandra (2018) The magic of names: a fieldworker's perspective. In: Sarvasy, Hannah, and Forker, Diana, (eds.) Word Hunters: Field Linguistics on Fieldwork. Studies in Language Companion Series (194). John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 9-28. (In Press)

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Abstract

[Extract] That firsthand knowledge of diverse languages is the backbone of any respectable linguistic work - and a sine qua non for trying to understand how languages work - has always been obvious for me. And what better way to acquire this knowledge than to do linguistic fieldwork - venturing into a new community, facing an unknown world, embracing difficult living conditions and trying to come to terms with new and unexpected linguistic structures. Working with a minority language, spoken out of the way of what we know as 'civilization', may be physically taxing - no running water (except in a river or a waterfall), no electricity, plenty of insects and diseases, tiring travel and further challenges. But what you learn is well worth the effort. In many ways minority 'out-of-the way' languages can be more expressive, more efficient and perhaps overall 'better' thatn familiar European ones (see Dixon 2016).

Item ID: 51504
Item Type: Book Chapter (Scholarly Work)
Keywords: linguistic fieldwork, immersion fieldwork, magic names, sacred names, spirit names, Amazonian, Tariana, kinship terms,
ISBN: 978-90-272-0027-3
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2017 04:39
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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