We review the development of methodologies and technologies of empirical linguistic work done outside traditional academic laboratories. The integration of such results with contemporary language documentation and linguistic theory is an increasingly important component of language analysis. Taking linguistic inquiry out of the lab and away from well-described and familiar data brings challenges in logistics, ethics, and the definition of variability within language use. In an era when rapidly developing technologies offer new potential for collecting linguistic data, the role of empirical or experimental work in theoretical discussions continues to increase. Collecting linguistic data on understudied languages raises issues about its aim vis-à-vis the academy and the language communities, and about its integration into linguistic theory.


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