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UQ Zoom Seminar: Field-based methods for collecting quantitative data, Felicity Meakins, 18 June

Felicity Meakins, Fieldwork, University of Queensland

Date: 18 June 2021

Zoom Seminar: Field-based methods for collecting quantitative data

Speaker: Felicity Meakins

When: 18 June 2021, 5pm-7pm

Where: via zoom


Shana Poplack has set benchmarks for the development of corpora since the early 1980s. Poplack (2015, p. 921) maintains that the “gold standard remains the (standard sociolinguistic-style) … corpus”. The aim of producing corpora using these principles is to avoid the ‘cherry picking’ approach which dominates much of the theoretical literature. Poplack and her team have created the Ottawa-Hull Corpus which consists of 3.5 million words of informal speech data. This corpus is enormous and beyond the capabilities of a single linguist in a small language community. This talk offers suggestions for corpus development in the field that follow Poplack’s principles, but also shows where compromises can be made. I discuss the method developed during the Gurindji Kriol project called ‘peer elicitation’. It supplements Poplack’s gold standard of naturally occurring speech with semi-formal elicitation to ensure sufficient data for quantitative analyses.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University