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February 2014

Topic      Supporting community researchers in the field

Date       Tuesday 11 February

Time       6:00 - 8:00pm

Venue     Upstairs room, Prince Alfred Hotel, 191 Grattan St, Carlton (corner of Bouverie St), ph ‪(03) 9347-3033‬‎

 Food and drinks available at the venue.

Contact   Ruth Singer if you have any questions



The ways that linguists work with communities is starting to change. The idea of doing research on or in a community is shifting to doing research with the community. The movement towards community-based and participatory fieldwork models in Linguistics mirrors shifts in other disciplines such as health research (Putt 2012). Greater participation of community members in fieldwork has not surprisingly been shown to improve the quality of linguistic research (Rice 2011). There are various ways that community members can participate. In this session we will be discussing ideas about how to support community members to carry out linguistic research independently. We will be sharing ideas about how to provide training and supervision so that community members can continue their research even when we are not at the fieldsite. Participation in linguistic research can provide education and employment for community members. In addition community members who are informed about linguistic research can have a stronger voice in determining the direction of research.

Background readings (all open-access)
Good, J. 2012. ‘“Community” Collaboration in Africa: Experiences from Northwest Cameroon’. Language Documentation and Description 11.

Laycock, A., D. Walker, N. Harrison and J. Brands. 2009. ‘Supporting Indigenous Researchers: A Practical Guide for Supervisors’.

Mihas, E. I. 2012. ‘Subcontracting Native Speakers in Linguistic Fieldwork: A Case Study of the Ashéninka Perené (Arawak) Research Community from the Peruvian Amazon’.

Putt, J. 2012. Conducting Research with Indigenous People and Communities. Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse.

Rice, K. 2011. ‘Documentary Linguistics and Community Relations’.

LIP is coordinated by Ruth Singer and Lauren Gawne (University of Melbourne)

LIP is an occasional gathering of language activists and linguists in Melbourne. All are welcome. Those in other parts of Australia and the world who can't make it to the Melbourne LIPs are encouraged to organise a local gathering to discuss this topic and support language activities in your area.