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WALS in the university classroom

Hildebrandt, KA and Bond, O (2009) WALS in the university classroom Linguistic Typology, 13 (1). pp. 181-191.

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Abstract

The world atlas of language structures (WALS) originally appealed to the linguistics community as a resource for research. However, the relevance of the feature chapters to teaching environments and the user-friendly nature of the Interactive Reference Tool also make it suitable for university classrooms. Based on our experiences using WALS in two typology courses at the University of Manchester and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), we provide a review of WALS as a teaching and learning tool, including both its successes and frustrations. We note some methodological and technical issues with using WALS in the university classroom, including problems of over- and under-sampling, and a lack of coverage on typological rarities. However, we have also found that WALS has much to offer instructors and students in terms of its breadth of topic coverage, the linkage of the feature chapters with course reading assignments, the wealth of genealogical, geographical, and bibliographic information on individual languages, and the hands-on experience that the Interactive Reference Tool offers students.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English and Languages > English > Surrey Morphology Group
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Hildebrandt, KAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bond, OUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : May 2009
Identification Number : 10.1515/LITY.2009.010
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Walter deGruyter 2009. Published in Linguistic Typology, 13(1), 181-191, 2009. DOI: 10.1515/LITY.2009.010
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 27 Feb 2013 17:34
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:15
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/728102

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