research methodology

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Tue Aug 7 12:38:27 UTC 2001


Me too. 4 groups: Linguists, nonlinguists X native speakers,
non-native speakers (all living abroad). They all rated the same
"questionable" sentences taken from the big Quirk et al. grammar.

Dennis R. Preston. 1975. Linguists versus non-linguists and native
speakers versus non-native speakers. Biuletyn Fonograficzny 16:5-18


>      I am now in Jamaica, far from the paper that I would like to
>remind you of. Haj Ross published a paper on a related topic,
>focusing on grammaticality judgments, about a uniform list of
>sentences he gave naive and linguist informants, native and
>non-native speakers among the linguists, non-natives living in the
>USA and  non-natives living abroad. His agenda was not exactly what
>you have conceived but comes close. I suppose that data from Jim
>McCawley's The Linguistic Flea Circus would be useful in this
>particular case.
>      I am also using this opportunity to test whether I can post on
>this list without having to subscribe again. I am having my email to
>the University of Chicago rerouted to UWIMonaNet.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Arnold Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 3:38 PM
>Subject: research methodology
>| i taught a seminar this spring quarter on syntactic variation,
>| in which almost all the students used standard corpora or web
>| searches to find examples of particular usages.  this makes a
>| great first step, but after that the students began to piece out
>| pictures of clusters of idiolects, differing in many different
>| details, and for this purpose, corpora alone aren't particularly
>| useful, since you need to know what *isn't* natural for specific
>| speakers; at some point, you have to collect judgments from
>| individuals.
>| some of the students are pursuing these projects further, hoping
>| to do further work with specific people from the web searches
>| (or from adventitious collection of examples on the fly).  has
>| anyone explored this two-step methodology (finding potential
>| informants in the first step of data collection, which nets people
>| who have some feature, then exploring the limits of that feature
>| through further data collection, interviews, judgment tasks, etc.)?
>| (the amount of systematic and structured variation among individuals
>| on the details of specific constructions is quite impressive, by
>| the way.)
>| arnold (zwicky at

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Ads-l mailing list