research methodology

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 7 04:00:01 UTC 2001

Arnold Zwicky said:
>sali mufwene refers me to studies on grammaticality judgments.
>i know these well, and i myself have used questionnaires (on
>fairly large numbers of subjects) to ferret out systems of idiolects.
>my question, however, had to do with getting at relatively rare
>systems.  i'm especially interested in hearing from people who've
>used corpus searches (or very large questionnaire studies) to find
>individuals with particularly interesting varieties and then
>following up with them.  there are practical and ethical issues

On a much smaller scale, I've occasionally emailed someone who's used an
interesting construction on a mailing list or in a usenet discussion in
order to get more information. I haven't asked a ton of questions, though,
usually just for some demographic background. Surprisingly, people are
pretty cool about it; I'm careful to use whatever email address in the
correspondence that I use in that forum; in addition, I include the URL for
the Haskins web site.
Alice Faber                                       tel. (203) 865-6163
Haskins Laboratories                              fax  (203) 865-8963
270 Crown St                                   faber at
New Haven, CT 06511                               afaber at

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