[Lingtyp] ALT: code of conduct

Völkel, Dr. Svenja svenja.voelkel at uni-mainz.de
Tue Nov 21 09:37:11 UTC 2017

Dear all,

in case, we really need a code, Giorgio Arcadia's summarized version based on Martin Haspelmath) is a proposal that I would support.

Some remarks:

- It is a reasonable guideline to minimize all kinds of disrespect (culture-specific offenses, gender-specific offenses, etc) - it generates awareness but it surely does not prevent personal offenses to happen, unintentionally or deliberately.

- It corresponds to the basic behavior that anthropologists as well as field linguists are taught. More specific versions are hardly possible in view of the numerous culture-specific practices and perceptions.

- In my view, it is sad that it needs to be written down as official code, as these basics of respect should guide inter-personal behaviour anyhow.


Svenja Völkel

Von: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> im Auftrag von Giorgio Francesco Arcodia <giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it>
Gesendet: Dienstag, 21. November 2017 08:13:45
An: Maia Ponsonnet
Cc: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Betreff: Re: [Lingtyp] ALT: code of conduct

In reply to Hedvig: Martin H. actually did propose an alternative, I'll paste it here:

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.

I think this is a very reasonable proposal, and I would support it.



On 21 Nov 2017 01:48, "Maia Ponsonnet" <maia.ponsonnet at uwa.edu.au<mailto:maia.ponsonnet at uwa.edu.au>> wrote:

Dear all,

I am writing to rectify the gender imbalance on this list, where most conversations including this one seem to be male dominated ;-).

I am a woman and those of you who know me (even just as FB friends for that matter) know that I care and am vocal about gender (im)balance.

This is precisely why myself and my colleague Gwen Hyslop, who I am just discussing the matter with, are voting NO to the code of conduct.

While we agree that there is a need for awareness, the "trend" imposed by such actions can only, in our opinion, be detrimental to interpersonal relationships and to gender balance in particular.

The reasons are multiple and complex, and I am not prepared to discuss them on this list. I will be happy to discuss them in private (and preferably face to face) if appropriate.

With best regards,

Maïa & Gwen

Dr Maïa Ponsonnet
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Fellow

Social Sciences Building, Room 2.47
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Hwy, Perth, WA (6009), Australia
P.  +61 (0) 8 6488 2870<tel:+61%208%206488%202870> - M.  +61 (0) 468 571 030<tel:+61%20468%20571%20030>

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> on behalf of David Gil <gil at shh.mpg.de<mailto:gil at shh.mpg.de>>
Sent: Tuesday, 21 November 2017 8:34 AM

To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] ALT: code of conduct

Having said my bit I was hoping not to have to add to the discussion,
but I feel the need to counter two lines of rhetoric that seem to have
emerged.  (I do so without offering actual citations because I think it
is important to maintain a civilized conversation devoid of ad hominem

First, I am uncomfortable with the implication that there is a job to be
done and that this is somehow being "derailed" by too much discussion.
The debate is precisely on what should be done, what is ethical and what
is practical.  If we're to invoke train metaphors, then I would counter
by saying that we must avoid being railroaded into one very specific way
of going about addressing the problem. Which leads into ...

Secondly, and perhaps more cogently, I am very uncomfortable with the
implication that people who support the code of ethics somehow take the
issues more seriously than those who are opposed to it. I suspect most
ALT members would agree that we are in a gender-based conflict involving
multiple levels of aggression, coercion and violence, mostly if not
exclusively waged by men against women. And that we desperately need to
do something about it.  The debate is over the methods, and it is a
legitimate debate.  Just is it is possible to argue over the
justification of the WWII carpet bombing of Dresden without being
accused of harbouring Nazi sympathies, so it should be possible to
criticize the proposed ALT code of ethics without being suspected of
lacking sympathy or understanding for the struggles that are faced by women.


David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de<mailto:gil at shh.mpg.de>
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834<tel:+49%203641%20686834>
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816<tel:+62%20812-8116-2816>

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