usa: linguistic field studies in rochester, ny

ANTH 305, Field Methods and Techniques in Linguistics, is an elective for the Anthropology major and a required course for the Linguistics minor.  This course will take place in Geneseo and Rochester, N.Y., where students not only will have a chance to learn research and analysis methods in the study of Nepali, but also will have the opportunity for service learning with the Nepali refugee community in Rochester.

Fast Facts:


Program Type:Faculty-led
Term/Duration:Summer; 3 weeks
Summer 2012 Dates:June 10 - June 30, 2012
Application Fee$20
Estimated Program Fees:$550 with accommodations; $200 without accommodations
Tuition:$660 NYS Residents; $1791 Out-of-State Residents
Application Deadline:March 23


Course Details

This course teaches how to document an unfamiliar language by interacting with a person who speaks it natively.  Over the course of the term students will gain some familiarity with the phonology, morphology and syntax of the language while developing techniques for studying a new language more generally and approaching a language consultant.  In addition, students will learn about practical issues in linguistic fieldwork.  Students will approach the investigation with a clean slate, treating the language as though it had never been documented before.  Together they will develop a dictionary, grammatical sketch and traveler's phrase book for the language.  Coursework will take place on the Geneseo campusin the morning, and fieldwork will be at Mary's Place in Rochester in the afternoon.

The Setting

Mary's Place is a Refugee Outreach Center located in the Northwest Maplewood are of Rochester, at 414 Lexington Avenue.  They offer ESL tutoring, homework assistance, on-premises case work, food and clothing, and in conjunction with the Rochester Refugee Resettlement Program, resettlement services, and a host of other services in response to the collective needs of refugees in a holistic and culturally appropriate manner ensuring their successful integration, fostering their independence and promoting their earliest possible self-sufficiency.  The most recent refugee community to be sered by Mary's Place is from Nepal, and it is with them that this field work will take place.  In addition to coursework and service work, students will visit local attractions in Rochester: Strong Museum of Play, Eastman House, Public Market, Rochester Museum of Science, the Strasenburgh Planetarium, and the Susan B. Anthony House.