Methodological Tools for Linguistic Description and Typology. 2019, 62-96
In this paper, we discuss how written questionnaires for targeted constructions can be a beneficial tool for comparative linguistic field research through two case studies on Javanese (Austronesian; Indonesia). The first case study is based on a questionnaire designed to elicit how a language or a dialect expresses the semantic meaning of modality (Vander Klok 2014); we show how it can be implemented in three different ways for comparative linguistic field research. The second case study is based on a questionnaire which investigates the morphosyntax of polar questions across four Javanese dialects; we show how items can be designed to maximize direct comparison of features while still allowing for possible lexical, phonological, or morphosyntactic variation. Based on these two studies, we also address methodological challenges that arise in using questionnaires in comparative linguistic field research and offer best practices to overcome these challenges.
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