Instructors: Ioana Chitoran and Lindsay Whaley, Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science
Overview: Any student of linguistics can attest to the gulf that separates an understanding of linguistic theory and the ability to undertake one’s own analysis of language data. For this reason, the stronger linguistics programs around the world include significant hands on experience in carrying out linguistic analysis for their students.
To date, most of these opportunities have come in the form of doing problem sets in various classes. While these exercises are valuable, they are impractical to create for some sub-fields of linguistics (e.g. acoustic phonetics), and even when they can be created, they are extremely artificial. The solution to these shortcomings is for students to be doing their own linguistic fieldwork and dealing with data that they themselves collect from native speakers, in its ‘raw’ state. We want to be able to assign class projects which employ computer-based tools, and make the tools available to all of the students who take these classes, rather than just the self-selected few who choose an independent study or an Honors Thesis. Support from the Computing Technology Venture Fund permits us to increase our laboratory capabilities, which in turn enables us to take these next steps.