[Lingtyp] ALT: code of conduct

Dan I. SLOBIN slobin at berkeley.edu
Tue Nov 21 00:21:13 UTC 2017

To me, Giorgio's concise email says it all.  I can't conceive of an
all-embracing culturally-neutral conception of "inappropriate" speech and
behavior as laid out in the broad (English) terms of the Code.  I can
foresee inconclusive, and perhaps rancorous discussion about particular
acts in particular circumstances.  As typologists and as people who live
and and spend time in many different cultures, the last thing we should
want to do is embrace some version of "the values of the Anglophone West"
(which does not even agree on a common definition of appropriate
behavior).  Martin's formulation is sufficient.  I have voted against the
proposed Code of Conduct.

Dan Slobin

On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 3:20 PM, Giorgio Francesco Arcodia <
giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it> wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> I completely agree with David Gil. Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't know
> how we could define e.g. "inappropriate physical contact" in a
> culturally-neutral way. This is simply not possible. In some cultures, even
> a handshake could be perceived, or construed, as "inappropriate",
> especially between people of the opposite sex.
> I strongly believe that, unless we want to impose the values of the
> Anglophone West to all participants to all ALT conferences anywhere in the
> world, we cannot have this sort of rules.
> On the other hand, Martin's suggestion is more than reasonable, in my
> view, and I would be glad to vote to approve it.
> Lastly, I think that any conference organiser would reprimand a
> participant being disruptive/offensive/aggressive/etc. This is just
> common sense. I don't see why we need a formal, statutory investment for
> this.
> Giorgio F. Arcodia
> On 20 Nov 2017 22:04, "Martin Haspelmath" <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de> wrote:
>> On 20.11.17 19:02, Kristine Hildebrandt wrote:
>> I do urge ALT members *not* to simply assume that this Association (or
>> any other) gets to 'opt out' of this issue, so I would welcome some
>> discussion on this towards crafting revised language, either online or
>> during a special session, language that *can* eventually be adopted
>> formally.
>> Here's a proposal for a revised code of conduct (copied from the upcoming Australian
>> Linguistic Society meeting
>> <http://sydney.edu.au/arts/conference/als_2017/code.shtml>'s code of
>> conduct):
>> Conference participants will:
>>    - treat fellow participants, students, volunteers, and any other
>>    members of the public with respect, dignity, impartiality, courtesy and
>>    sensitivity;
>>    - maintain a cooperative and collaborative approach to inter-personal
>>    relationships;
>>    - respect the privacy of others;
>>    - ensure that they do not become involved in or encourage
>>    discrimination against or harassment of participants, students, volunteers,
>>    or any other members of the public.
>> For me, the main point is that there should be no threat to expel
>> participants from the conference for what they say.
>> The ALS's statement should go at least some way toward "setting the tone"
>> against anti-scientific behaviour of the kind highlighted by Claire,
>> without falling into the trap of being anti-scientific in a different way.
>> Another thing that ALT could do is introduce mandatory "harrassment
>> training" at the beginning of the conference – this is something that is
>> completely unknown in Germany and other non-Anglo-American countries, but
>> maybe it's something that the whole world needs – I'm certainly open to
>> this possibility. It would be a slight annoyance for some people, but the
>> main thing for me is that there would be no threat to expel a colleague
>> from the conference.
>> Best,
>> Martin
>> --
>> Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
>> Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
>> Kahlaische Strasse 10	
>> D-07745 Jena
>> &
>> Leipzig University
>> IPF 141199
>> Nikolaistrasse 6-10
>> D-04109 Leipzig
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*<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> *

*Dan I. Slobin *

*Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Linguistics*

*University of California, Berkeley*

*email: slobin at berkeley.edu <slobin at berkeley.edu>*

*address: 2323 Rose St., Berkeley, CA 94708*


*<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> *
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