One of the reasons I haven’t been posting much is that I’ve been working on the index of my field methods book.

If anyone’s bored and is looking for something to do, here’s a chance to exercise your creativity.

Here’s the index for the book. Your task is to imagine stuff you’d want to look up in a book like this, and see if it’s covered in the index. If not, please post the terms in a comment and I’ll add them to the index (if they’re discussed in the book…) Payment is my undying gratitude and mention in the acknowledgments.


3 responses to “Indexation

  1. What an evocative index! For some reason, I especially like the stretch of the S section that goes from snakes to sociolinguistics to socks.

    Nearly everything I thought to look for was there. The one item I sought in vain was Canada; I don’t know whether it’s mentioned in the book, but given that you have First Nations in the index, it seems likely.

    I do have a few suggestions for cross-references and such:

    1. The page numbers listed for digital: audio and digital: recording don’t include the one given for DAT. Should they?

    2. The page numbers for danger and risk don’t seem to overlap. Maybe each one could suggest that the reader “see also” the other?

    3. Maybe add entries for sex (see gender) and for syntactic category (see lexical category)?

    4. There seem to be two separate entries for stress. (I like the one with the subentries, since one is highly likely to encounter both the linguistic and the non-linguistic varieties in doing fieldwork!)

    5. Indiana Jones appears under both I and J, but Sherlock Holmes only under H. This is inconsistent but not necessarily bad; I think I’d be much more likely to look for Jones under I than I would be to look for Holmes under S, though I don’t know why.

    6. There are several cases listed in the index, but ergative and absolutive are not among them. Ergativity is there, though, so maybe absolutive case could be included with a cross-reference to that? (Ergative case would be right next to ergativity anyway, so there’s probably no need for a separate entry for it.)

    7. It might be helpful to give spelled-out versions of some more of the abbreviations, as is done for RTF. (In particular, IPA is ambiguous between the alphabet and the association (assuming it isn’t the ale!).)

    8. Maybe add speech rate (see fast speech phenomena)?

    9. Maybe add typefaces (see fonts)?

    10. Maybe add fatigue (see tiredness)?

    That’s all that springs to mind so far. To the extent that it’s possible to judge a book by its index, this looks like a good one, and I look forward to the eventual appearance of the whole thing.

  2. Thank you Q! You’re an absolute star!

  3. I haven’t been very thorough, but I hope this helps:

    — I couldn’t find ‘first time’. Is there a reference to the first session with the consultant?
    — Should alphabet be merged with orthography?
    — How about references to specific questionnaires (Lingua, etc.), perhaps as subentries under questionnaire?
    — Do ‘file formats’ refer to audio/video or text?
    — Typos: ‘citiation’, ‘recordering’., ‘culmulative’
    — Does ‘age’ refer to the consultant’s or the field worker’s? What about ‘boredom’ etc.?
    — Does ‘accent’ refer to stress or to dialect?
    — I remember seeing something once about eliciting lexicon based on random computer-generated words, where the phonology is simple enough to make this practical. I tried looking this up in the index, but the closest I found was ‘randomisation’. Is this something you cover?
    — How about ‘ceremonial language’?

    Should be a good one!

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