Reflections on linguistic fieldwork in Australia

Singer, Ruth
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University of Hawai'i Press
Shifts in White-Indigenous relations started to re-shape relations between field linguists and Australian Indigenous communities from the 1970s. So well before Himmelmann (1998) appeared, linguists working on Australian Indigenous languages had been discussing topics such as ethical engagement with Indigenous communities, accessibility of recordings and the best use of technology in archiving and recording. After Himmelmann (1998) appeared, these topics emerged as key topics in language documentation which led to more of these kinds of discussions not only among Australian linguists but also with linguists around the world. The development of language documentation as a field of research fostered greater collaboration between Indigenous communities, linguists, researchers from other disciplines and technology specialists in Australia. New funding initiatives followed the publication of Himmelmann (1998), providing additional support for documentation projects on Australian Indigenous languages. Since the 2000's government support for Indigenous-led initiatives around language has declined in Australia. But growing support for Indigenous researchers within universities is enabling Indigenous communities to become more equal partners in research on their languages.
Indigenous Australia, fieldwork, language documentation, Indigenous politics, ethical fieldwork
Singer, Ruth. 2018. Reflections on linguistic fieldwork in Australia. In McDonnell, Bradley, Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker, and Gary Holton. (Eds.) Reflections on Language Documentation 20 Years after Himmelmann 1998. Language Documentation & Conservation Special Publication no. 15. [PP 267-275] Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.
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