Field Assignment Syllabus - Linguistics 55AC Fall, 2007...

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Linguistics 55AC Fall, 2007 Field Assignment – Address and Referential Terms Week 6 – Have your proposed hypothesis and methodology ready to discuss in section Week 7 – Final Report + data due at the beginning of section (Please also submit an electronic copy via bspace) 1 Summary of Assignment : Forming a hypothesis and determining how to test it (i.e., coming up with a method to examine it) are key to sociolinguistic analysis. This exercise involves designing, implementing, and reporting on a small study on how people address or refer to others. It is motivated by the following general question: how is the use or interpretation of these terms guided by social factors like gender, socioeconomic class, group membership, political ideology, religious beliefs, or geographic region? Your assignment is to come up with a research question, specific hypothesis about how address/referential term usage will vary based on specific social factors, and to design a small field study as a means of answering that question. Members of our class will go about investigating various hypotheses using a variety of methods, the following four of which will be modeled in this assignment: “Eavesdropping” (noting natural language use around you) Questionnaire/(Surveying) (creating and distributing a questionnaire/survey) In-Depth Interviewing Corpus-based Research (analyzing a predetermined set of language data) EACH PERSON WILL DO DATA COLLECTION USING ONE METHOD. By having everybody share their findings in section, everybody will be able to see the pros and cons of research methods other than the one they used in their own study. The goal of this assignment is not to find statistically reliable data sets, but rather (1), to think through the notions of forming and testing a sociolinguistic hypothesis and (2), to learn about pros and cons of different methodologies of data collection through real experience. You do not need to collect a large amount of data, but your report does need to be very specific about how you got that data, how you analyzed it, and why your methodology was or was not effective for answering your research question. Terminology : Address terms refer to what a person calls somebody when speaking to that person directly . Examples include titles (like ‘miss’, ‘sir’), names, nicknames, generic terms (like ‘man’, ‘dude’, ‘guys’, ‘ma'am’), endearment terms (like ‘honey’), and insult terms (like ‘doofus’, ‘fucker’), among others. Note that many interactions do not involve any address term (and some involve only a summons like “hey”, which is not an address term). The fact that there isn’t any address term is often very important. (What determines when one uses or doesn’t use an address term?)
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course LING 55 AC taught by Professor Wesleyleonard during the Fall '07 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Field Assignment Syllabus - Linguistics 55AC Fall, 2007...

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