Field Trips

Linguistics field trips are crucial to the practical component of any of the Department’s Linguistics courses, especially those with a Caribbean focus. Field trips are undertaken for the purposes of language data collection and analysis, and for sociolinguistic surveys.

Suriname Field Trip 2007  St Lucia Field Trip

Suriname 2007 St Lucia 2009 © Alicia Lamb

Field trips are generally course-specific, and are ideally undertaken once a semester, including the mid-year period, mostly for undergraduate courses, and more recently for postgraduate courses. Undergraduate courses include Level II Linguistics courses such as LING 2902 and LING 2903 (Structure and Usage of French-lexicon Creole (Patois) 1 & 2 (and others to be advised). Level III Linguistics courses, such as LING 3099, LING 3001, LING 3002, LING 3201, LING 3202 and LING 3701 (a Mona-based cross-campus course). Postgraduate courses include LING 6201 and LING 6302.

National/local field trips are sometimes undertaken. Most of the field trips, however, have been both cross-campus and regional in nature, in collaboration with the Mona and Cave Hill campuses, making the experience a truly UWI one. Students have collected data in territories such as Curaçao, Guyana, Martinique, St Lucia and Suriname.

Paramin 2001

Paramin 2001

Students should plan for these field trips by purchasing their own equipment where possible: digital recorders, cameras, camcorders and laptops/notebooks (including print ones). All data must be collected only after language consultants have given their consent and authorisation (in writing or on camera) to UWI field researchers. Sample informed consent forms are available.

In conjunction with the Guild of Students, the UWI Linguistics Society can help to organise fund-raising projects to assist with overseas field trip expenses.

A 5-day Language Documentation and Language Description Workshop, was highly valuable for field trips and field work.