Max Planck Institute’s Field Manuals

Stephen C. Levinson, Asifa Majid, and Mark Dingemanse
2010

It is our pleasure to announce the launch of the L&C Field Manuals and Stimulus Materials (http://fieldmanuals.mpi.nl/), a web resource providing access to many of the field manuals produced by the Language and Cognition group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

The site contains a bonanza of material for the field elicitation of semantics and the field collection of verbal behaviour. These are unique resources that have been compiled over nearly twenty years of investigation of under-studied languages and that have played a major role in pioneering the field of semantic typology. In many cases, the design of the tasks has been refined over recurrent field seasons, yielding well-adapted sensitive instruments for investigating e.g. semantic distinctions in a language without a writing system or a culture with only minimal schooling. In this way, the tasks are the joint product of many scholars working in over 50 languages and cultures.

For years these field manuals have been available on demand, but they have now been put online for the first time, and this site will serve as the online repository for both older manuals as well as new ones currently under development. Free registration is required to access the materials. That is so we can keep track of new users and potential new data — we plan an archiving system that will allow users to contribute to the joint enterprise.

Stephen C. Levinson, Asifa Majid, and Mark Dingemanse
Language & Cognition group
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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