Language and Culture Research Centre News & Events Workshops Masterclass - Linguistic Skills for Ethnographic Field Research

Masterclass - Linguistic Skills for Ethnographic Field Research

Intensive block course for graduate and postgraduate candidates

When faced with people at your field site who speak a language different from your own, how to proceed?

JCU’s Language and Culture Research Centre (LCRC) will run the highly successful Linguistic Skills for Ethnographic Research Masterclass on 5-6 April 2018 at JCU Cairns (Room D3.144, The Cairns Institute).

This free two-day workshop may be credited towards the elective component of RD7003: Professional Development.

Organised by Dr Kasia Wojtylak, the masterclass will host invited speakers Dr Alex Walker, Dr Luca Ciucci, and PhD students in linguistics Abe Bai Junwei and Nathan White.

The course has been designed for anthropologists and other researchers who conduct fieldwork in areas where non-written and lesser-known languages are spoken. It will introduce candidates to reasons why competency in the local language could be important to their research, and give them introductory concrete, practical methods for language learning and linguistic documentation.

Interested candidates should contact Dr Kasia Wojtylak by email to by 20 March 2018.

Masterclass Program

Day 1 | Thurs 5 April 2018

  • 0900-1030 Introduction to language, linguistics, and fieldwork research (Kasia Wojtylak)
  • 1030-1100 Break
  • 1100-1230 Language sounds and the IPA (Luca Ciucci)
  • 1230-1330 Break
  • 1330-1400 Monolingual demonstration with speaker of non-European language (Kasia Wojtylak)
  • 1400-1530 Introduction to morphological analysis (Kasia Wojtylak)
  • 1530-1600 Break
  • 1600-1700 Further discussion of practical field techniques related to the day's topics (Kasia Wojtylak)

Day 2 | Fri 6 April 2018

  • 0900-1030 How phonology relates to phonetics (Alex Walker)
  • 1030-1100 Break
  • 1100-1230 Understanding syntax (Nathan White)
  • 1230-1330 Break
  • 1330-1430 Interesting topics in linguistics: genders and noun class markers, evidentiality, case marking (Kasia Wojtylak and Abe Bai Junwei)
  • 1430-1500 Analysis of undescribed language morphology (Kasia Wojtylak)
  • 1500-1530 Break
  • 1530-1600 Ethics of linguistic fieldwork (Kasia Wojtylak)
  • 1600-1700 Existing software for dictionary building and language analysis (Abe Bai Junwei)
  • 1700-1730 Summary, addressing individual questions, and wrap-up (Kasia Wojtylak)

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