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Summary Details

Query:   Researching Languages/Alternatives to Wray et al.
Author:  Loren Billings
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Not Applicable

Summary:   In LL 14.1979 I asked about the following book and whether any others exist that serve the same purpose: to help advanced undergraduates learn how to do linguistic research of their own. This is an updated citation. (I mistakenly listed the authors as editors.)

Alison WRAY, Kate TROTT, and Aileen BLOOMER (1998) Projects in Linguistics: A Practical Guide to Researching Language. London: Arnold. (Co-published in the United States by Oxford University Press, New York.)

My query can be seen at the following link:


Three people responded. I discuss each in turn:

Fist, Martin WYNNE recommends another book:

SEBBA, Mark (2000) Focussing on Language: a student's guide to research planning, data collection, analysis and writing up. Fourth edition. Lancaster: Definite Article Publications.

[Note the spelling of ''Focussing''; I also found Google hits under the alternative spelling (with a single _s_).]

Martin adds that although he hasn't actually used it in class, it looks very practical. It is priced at only 2.50 UK pounds on Mark's web site:


Apparently, the author is also the publisher. Here is the book's web site:


He can also be reached at this e-mail address:


Next, Kathryn REMLINGER wrote:

There are a couple sources you might find useful, although they aren't textbooks: the e-list Teach-ling is fairly quiet list, but there are sometimes spurts of good discussion and sharing of teaching ideas, including projects. COSWL (The Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics) has published a collection of syllabi, mostly for teaching courses on language and gender, but also for sociolx, lx anthropology and other topics. Many of the syllabi outline project assignments.

I located what looks to be the relevant page, where an (apparently) printed publication is advertised: ''The COSWL collection of language and gender syllabi'' (Elizabeth HUME and Bonnie McELHINNY, editors), 1993. $20. Here is he URL:


Kathryn continues:

Also, IGALA (International Gender and Language Association) and Mary Bucholtz's Language and Gender Page (the two are linked) list resources for teaching. Then, as you may already know, Linguistlist also has a link for teaching resources.

Here is the IGALA link:


Indeed, there is a link from that page to BUCHOLTZ's page. (However, the link from this page to COSWL is apparently outdated; use the one above.)

Finally, M'ADY Katalin offered to help with primarily statistical expertise but was not aware of any specific alternatives to the book.

Alas, it turns out that I will not get to teach such a course. Still, I
promised to post a summary. This is everything I now have. Best, --Loren

Loren A. Billings, Ph.D.
Associate professor of linguistics
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
National Chi Nan University
Puli, Nantou, Taiwan 545 Republic of China

E-mail: billings@ncnu.edu.tw

LL Issue: 8.675
Date Posted: 07-May-1997
Original Query: Read original query


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