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ERIC Number: EJ1075309
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1934-5275
"Lone Wolves" and Collaboration: A Reply to Crippen & Robinson (2013)
Bowern, Claire; Warner, Natasha
Language Documentation & Conservation, v9 p59-85 2015
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.
National Foreign Language Resources Center at University of Hawaii. Department of Linguistics, UHM Moore Hall 569, 1890 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. Fax: 808-956-9166; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A