[Lingtyp] Grammars/dictionaries and community benefit/harm

Nick Enfield nick.enfield at sydney.edu.au
Sat Jan 5 07:45:26 UTC 2019

Dear colleagues,

I have a query concerning linguistic fieldwork and documentation carried out with minority language communities. If a grammar and/or dictionary is published, we can imagine three possible outcomes in relation to the community of speakers:

  1.  This benefits the community
  2.  This harms the community
  3.  This neither benefits nor harms the community

(Obviously each specific case will be nuanced, and these are not entirely exclusive possibilities.) I am looking for empirical evidence for (any of) these three outcomes in relation to specific published linguistic descriptions. Many thanks in advance for suggestions and advice.


N. J. ENFIELD | FAHA FASSA FRSN | Professor of Linguistics
Director, SSSHARC (Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre)
Director, http://sydneylanguageresearch.org/
Rm N364, John Woolley Building A20 | NSW | 2006 | AUSTRALIA
T +61 476 239 669
E nick.enfield at sydney.edu.au<mailto:nick.enfield at sydney.edu.au> | W sydney.edu.au<http://sydney.edu.au/> | nickenfield.org<http://www.nickenfield.org/>
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