6. Post fieldwork tasks

The products of fieldwork - vocabular cards, answer books and sound recordings - as they accumulate in the archive centre need to be registered clearly and stored carefully, as well as the biographical details for each informant and any interview notes evaluating the type of data collected. They are now available for the next stages of the project. 28 Analysis, appraisal and editing of what has been collected must get under way with a view to preparing the final publications intended. The studies which we have discussed will result in dialect dictionaries, in descriptive monographs of varieties of speech within regions, in dialect atlases, as well as in numerous studies dealing with aspects of linguistic behaviour which are reflected in the data collected in the field. The advantage of having sound recordings as well as manuscript data is clear. The informant's original contribution will be there to be consulted by ensuing scholars. But what has been acquired for study is a sample - wide-ranging or restricted according to the initial planning and the type of project undertaken - of a brief state of the language influenced by sociocultural factors and moulded by the thrusts of preceding centuries in the course of its perpetual development in time.

  1. On copyright see Flint, M.F. A User's Guide to Copyright; London: Butterworths, 1979