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‘Lone Wolves’ and Collaboration: A Reply to Crippen & Robinson (2013)

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Title: ‘Lone Wolves’ and Collaboration: A Reply to Crippen & Robinson (2013)
Authors: Bowern, Claire
Warner, Natasha
Keywords: language documentation
linguistic fieldwork
Issue Date: Mar 2015
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Bowern, Claire & Natasha Warner. 2015. ‘Lone Wolves’ and Collaboration: A Reply to Crippen & Robinson (2013). Language Documentation & Conservation 9. 59-85
Abstract: In this reply to Crippen & Robinson’s (2013) contribution to Language Documentation & Conservation, we discuss recent perspectives on ‘collaborative’ linguistics and the many roles that linguists play in language communities. We question Crippen & Robinson’s characterization of the state of the field and their conclusions regarding the utility of collaborative fieldwork. We argue that their characterization of collaborative fieldwork is unrealistic and their complaints are based on a caricature of what linguists actually do when they work together with communities. We also question their emphasis on the ‘outsider’ linguist going into a community, given the increasing number of indigenous scholars working on their own languages and partnering with ‘outsider’ academics. We outline ways in which collaborative work does not compromise theoretical scholarship. Both collaborative and so-called ‘lone wolf’ approaches bring advantages and disadvantages to the linguist, but lone wolf linguistics can have considerable disadvantages to communities who are already excluded from research. Documentary linguists, as representatives of their profession, should make use of the most effective techniques they can, given that in many cases, that linguist’s work may well be the only lasting record of the language.
Sponsor: National Foreign Language Resource Center
Pages/Duration: 27
ISSN: 1934-5275
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:Volume 09 : Language Documentation & Conservation

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