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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides theoretical background to the task of data collection by examining key issues including control over primary data, context, and contextual variation and the observer’s paradox. The concept of a data collection continuum is introduced and problem of context is discussed, in particular how the existence of different types of linguistic context and the interaction between contexts impacts on primary data. Likewise, the closely related issues of ‘observer effects’ and the question of what is ‘natural’ data are examined in some detail. Moreover, the chapter gives an overview of data collection techniques, and provides some practical advice on recording equipment and recording technique.

Keywords: data collection methods, primary data, control, context, observer’s paradox

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