chapter  1
Introduction
WithFelicity Meakins, Jennifer Green, Myfany Turpin
Pages 24

The breadth and complexity of the world’s linguistic diversity is truly breath-taking and there is no shortage of potential projects, research questions and speech communities who are asking for linguistic expertise. This chapter begins with some definitions relevant to fieldwork – what is meant by fieldwork, what makes a good field linguist, and who is a speaker? We then overview a field project from conception to conclusion, directing budding field linguists to relevant sections in the textbook to explore different aspects of language documentation workflow. Also introduced in this chapter is an approach to field research which seeks to elucidate the lexical and constructional resources of languages and their formal properties and expressive scope in a manner that is embedded within cultural and social contexts.