Using Visual Stimuli to collect Language Data

Many psycholinguistic, descriptive or documentary projects use visual stimuli (images, videos, toys or other physical objects) to collect data. This is a list of relevant readings.

  • Bochnak, M. Ryan, and Matthewson, Lisa (eds), 2015.  Methodologies in Semantic Fieldwork.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cappello, Marva. 2017. Considering visual text complexity: A guide for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 70(6), 733-739.
  • Dobel, Christian, Reinhild Glanemann, Pienie Zwitserlood & Sonja Eisenbeiss. 2011. Visual encoding of coherent and non-coherent scenes. In Jürgen Bohnemeyer & Eric Pederson (eds.), Event representation in language and cognition, 189- 215. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Eisenbeiss, Sonja. 2009. Contrast is the name of the game: Contrast-based semi-structured elicitation techniques for studies on children’s language acquisition. Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 57(7).
  • Eisenbeiss, Sonja. 2010. Production methods. In Elma Blom & Sharon Unsworth (eds.), Experimental methods in language acquisition research, 11-34. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Hellwig, Birgit. 2006. Field semantics and grammar-writing: Stimuli-based techniques and the study of locative verbs. In Felix K. Ameka, Alan Dench & Nick Evans (eds.), Catching language: The standing challenge of grammar writing, 321-358. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Hellwig, Birgit. 2019. Linguistic diversity, language documentation and psycholinguistics: The role of stimuli. In Aimée Lahaussois & Marine Vuillermet
  • Lahaussois, Aimée, and Marine Vuillermet. 2019. Trajectoire: A methodological tool for eliciting Path of motion. In Aimée Lahaussois & Marine Vuillermet (eds.), Methodological tools for linguistic description and typology (Language Documentation and Conservation SP 16), 97-124
  • Lüpke, Friederike. 2009. Data Collection Methods for Field-Based Language Documentation. Language Documentation and Description 6, 53–100.
  • Majid, Asifa. 2012. A guide to stimulus-based elicitation for semantic categories. In Nicholas Thieberger (ed.), The Oxford handbook of linguistic fieldwork, 54-71. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


More information about resources for stimulus-creators (picture-databases, stimulus-archives, field-manual archives etc.) can be found here.

See also other contributions in

Lahaussois, and Marine Vuillermet (eds.). 2019. Methodological tools for linguistic description and typology (Language Documentation and Conservation SP 16).