LINGUIST List 11.1658

Mon Jul 31 2000

Qs: Idiosyncrasies of "Butterfly", Sampling Methods

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  1. William Beeman, Idiosyncrasies of the word "Butterfly"
  2. Astrid Fie�, Advice on Sampling Methods

Message 1: Idiosyncrasies of the word "Butterfly"

Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 00:34:56 -0400
From: William Beeman <>
Subject: Idiosyncrasies of the word "Butterfly"

I am passing on a query from a friend of mine who notes that the words
for "butterfly" in various European languages seem to resist
borrowing. There seem to be relatively few cognates for this term. To
that end, he would like to get as many translations for "butterfly" as
possible, and perhaps some speculation as to why this term seems to be
so idiosyncratic.


William O. Beeman
Department of Anthropology
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Tel: (401) 863-3251; Fax: (401) 863-7588
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Message 2: Advice on Sampling Methods

Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 21:26:33 +0100
From: Astrid Fie� <>
Subject: Advice on Sampling Methods


For my PhD, I would like to carry out sociolinguistic research on the
English language in Limerick City, Ireland. I have lived there for
several months to get to know the city and I have already done some
'exploratory' interviews. Trying to find a suiteable theoretical basis
for my research, though, I have encountered some problems. I am aware
of three main types of sampling methods: random sampling, judgement
sampling and network approach. I do not think that the first too
methods are suiteable for the type of research I would like to
do. With both, you usually only get very limited information about the
speakers outside the interview. I would like to put an emphasis on
qualitative, not quantitative analysis, though. I was thinking of
doing a network study, similar to the one the Milroys did in
Belfast. The problem with this is now, that this kind of study is
perfect for close-knit network types as you can (or at least could)
find them in the ethnically divided society of Belfast, but not for
loose-knit networks as they occur more and more often in modern
society. I could not make out easily accessible networks in Limerick
which would be suited for such a type of research. The ones I found
were relatively loose-knit and often not based on the area people live
in, but rather on hobbies or the like. My question is now: Is anybody
aware of a suiteable linguistic sampling method for the type of
environment I found? I would be grateful for any help.

Astrid Fiess
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