The day I fell in love with languages: Dr. Richter and field linguistics

Dr. Richter, who first introduced me to Linguistics
Dr. Richter, who first introduced me to Linguistics

Field linguistics … refers to the collection of primary linguistic data on the basic grammatical facts of a relatively little studied language in a relatively natural setting from ordinary speakers, and to the analysis and dissemination of such data.Pamela Munro

When did I truly fall in love with languages? I had been “dating” languages for a while—French, Latin, German—in my early teens. Then, the summer after my sophomore year in high school, I completely fell for languages after I took a full-blown linguistics class. The class filled me with solid information about the breadth of complexity in the world’s languages, but once we started learning field linguistics I discovered joy in diving in, asking questions, and figuring out the language from the inside, as if I were in the field among speakers of a language completely foreign to me. That joy determined the course of my life, and that joy has never left me.
How can I count the ways?

On pronunciation and memorization: A eulogy for Dr. Thomas Coates

My first German teacher (circled) along with his class
My first German teacher (circled) along with his class

Wer noch? Du? Steh auf! Blitzschnell!

A-Be-Tse-De-E-Ef-Gay-Ha-Ee-Yot-Ka…

Who are the most influential teachers? It’s not always obvious at the time, but some lessons seep into your bones.
My first German teacher