Excerpt from How to Learn an Unwritten Language
Dr. Gudschinsky provides in this brief volume a concise introductory course in linguistics specifically directed at the learning of language in the field, and intended for the linguistically naive Student. At each step problems ... are presented and the analytic techniques required to solve them are explained. The reader is constantly reminded of the cultural relevance of language and the methods used to Study it.
The first chapter provides an orientation for the Student going into the field. Chapter 2 is a succinct statement of the grammatical points a student will have to master. This 18 presented in an extraordinarily clear manner that will be understandable to students with little or no linguistic background. Chapter 3 includes a detailed explana tion of how to learn vocabulary within the grammatical framework. The author points out the pitfalls of loan-translation from English, emphasizing that words have one or several areas of meaning and that vocabulary must be learned in context. Chapter 4 is a brief presentation of phonological theory. Though technical terminology is kept at an absolute minimum, a new Student will need some expert help if he is to understand the full implications of this chapter. Chapter 5 has the practical goal of ¿exibility in the production of sounds. Articulation positions, manner of articulation, modifications in point of articulation, voicing, glottal stop, secondary articulation, clicks and glottalized sounds, vowels, and, finally, pitch and rhythm are presented in that order. Exercises abound and are clearly enabling the student to follow the directions literally, and making it possible for the motivated student to learn many of the basic lessons without a teacher. These five chapters are followed by a listing of practical considerations for the choice of a tape recorder to be used in linguistic fieldwork, a chart of consonants and vowels, a bibliography of books and pamphlets on language learning, and various introductory works on linguistics.
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