By Andries W. Coetzee
Oct 13, 2012
Tridha Chatterjee conducted fieldwork in India over the past summer, collecting data for her dissertation on the intricate patterns of code-switching between English and Bengali. This research project continues the work that Tridha had done for her recently completed QRP on Bengali-English mixed verbs.
Tridha's fieldwork is just one example of the many different fieldwork research projects conducted by members of our Department. Our faculty and graduate students do fieldwork all over the world - from the mountains of Montana (Sally Thomason) to West-Africa (Jeff Heath) to India (Tridha Chatterjee) to Northern Australia (Carmel O'Shannessy) to Cape Verde (Marlyse Baptista and Eric Brown). Linguistic fieldwork is important for many reasons. When the fieldwork involves documenting understudied and often endangered languages, it contributes to the preservation of the richness and variety of humankind, and empowers people to preserve the knowledge and culture that have been enshrined in their languages over many generations. Just as often the data collected during fieldwork are crucial to the development and testing of linguistic theory. Fieldwork is an important part of modern linguistics, and is something that our Department cherishes and supports.