General Linguistics

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Working Group General Linguistics

Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies

Fieldwork seminars in MA-Linguistics

(Fieldwork seminar in Côte d'Ivoire: I. Diarrassouba, C. Lamahala, V. Benner, F. Kipre Ble, S. Koutalidi, V. Hass, C. Reher, C. Neumann, F. Ahoua, C. Féry, S. Skopeteas)


Linguistic fieldwork is a global challenge for the empirical and analytical compentences that were acquired in the linguistics curriculum. It requires a solid background in linguistic theory that leads to relevant research question. Data collection in the field requires knowledge of empirical methods and the social competence to get into contact with people from a different culture and to collaborate with them in order to understand their native language.

The fieldwork seminars at the Bielefeld university have the following components:

A. Background: outline of fieldwork methods and introduction to the object language.

B. From grammatical theory to research questions: a grammatical phenomenon is introduced; the group works on current theoretical accounts in this field and sets up a research question that is maximally relevant for the interpretation of the phenomenon at issue.

C. Method: the students prepare a fieldwork study according to the current standards in empirical research and conduct their study during a week in the field.

D. Results: the results of the student studies are presented in the local scientific community (collaboration with the local universities) and are written down in the form of a scientific article that is reviewed and published in a-ling.



Fieldwork seminar in Côte d'Ivoire (S. Skopeteas);
Research question: From roots to nominals in selected languages of Côte d'Ivoire.


Fieldwork seminar in the Caucasus (S. Skopeteas);
Research question: Spatial underspecification in Urum local relations.


Fieldwork seminar in the Caucasus (S. Skopeteas);
Research question: Indefinite time and Urum aorist.


Fieldwork seminar in the Caucasus (S. Skopeteas);
Research question: Number in Urum and in Georgian.

The General linguistics research group is part of the Cluster of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC (EXC 277) and Bielefeld University's Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies.




Languages of Côte d'Ivoire

Language situation, classifications, sample texts, collection of resources

Côte d'Ivoire


Caucasian Urum

Texts, lexicon, sound files, studies (collected in 2009-2011).