Dan Everett’s presentation on monolingual fieldwork

by Jeanette Sakel

In this video, Dan Everett is doing a ‘monolingual fieldwork presentation’, something quite impressive: he works with a speaker of a language that he doesn’t know (and which was chosen in secret by others, so he couldn’t prepare for this). Dan is showing that without having a language in common, it is still possible to do Linguistic Fieldwork. In this case, Dan is speaking Pirahã, to ensure that the lady he is working with won’t get any additional clues through his language use.

This is a great example of how you can do monolingual fieldwork – in particular how to start monolingual fieldwork.

After the presentation, there are numerous questions from the audience (again: really helpful in showing how this works). Also, it is revealed that the language is Hmong!

The video is introduced by Sally Thomason.

Additionally, there is another video here of questions and answers with Dan about his work with the Pirahã, also recorded at the LSA 2013 (like the monolingual presentation above):

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