Linguist on the Loose

Adventures and Misadventures in Fieldwork

Lyle Campbell
Foreword by Wade Davis

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A vivid memoir of life in the field that highlights the importance of documenting indigenous languages

Lyle Campbell’s linguistic fieldwork has taken him to numerous countries, sometimes in challenging circumstances. It has led to exciting discoveries including a new language in southeastern Guatemala, a unique speech sound, unknown in any other language, in the Nivaclé language of Paraguay and Argentina, and unusual and unique features in several other languages. Along the way, he has experienced dangers and challenges, the joys and excitement of fieldwork, and encountered first-hand the importance of collaborating with indigenous groups to help document and revitalize their languages.

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Foreword by Wade Davis Preface
Acknowledgements
1 Introduction: What’s a linguist do, anyway?, What’s linguistic fieldwork?2 Fieldwork adventure3 Discoveries4 Finding language consultants and working with them5 Perils, parasites, politics, and violence6 Eating, drinking, and matters of health7 Surviving fieldwork travel and living in the Field 8 What next?: What is needed in endangered language research?References
Index

Campbell presents an entertaining book without the heaviness of linguistic theories that are difficult to grasp for those who have not been trained in linguistics and linguistic anthropology.
Oliver Delto, Technical University of Darmstadt, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology
Linguist on the Loose: Adventures and Misadventures in Fieldwork is undoubtedly a splendid publication by Lyle Campbell, a field linguist internationally recognized for his linguistic studies in the field of historical linguistics, but, above all, in the documentation, description and revitalization of endangered languages , having as its central focus the languages and cultures of the Amerindian peoples, who, for the most part, have become minorities within globalizing national societies.The contents carefully presented by Campbell are a clear example that it is possible to do linguistic science without neglecting its social contributions, mainly in those societies that are characterized by ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity.
Angel Corbera Mori & Camille Cardoso Miranda, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brasil, LIAMES, Campinas
Campbell is an experienced guide to the “perils, parasites, politics, and violence” of linguistic fieldwork, as well as its joys. Linguist on the Loose: Adventures and misadventures in fieldwork would be instructive to those embarking on a career in this area of linguistics, as well as would-be explorers and travellers seeking adventure off the beaten track.
Graham Elliott, The Linguist
Campbell is an experienced guide to the “perils, parasites, politics, and violence” of linguistic fieldwork, as well as its joys. Linguist on the Loose: Adventures and misadventures in fieldwork would be instructive to those embarking on a career in this area of linguistics, as well as would-be explorers and travellers seeking adventure off the beaten track.
Graham Elliott, The Linguist
A rollicking account of the dos and don’ts of fieldwork, richly exemplified from Campbell’s decades of experience, Linguist on the Loose does for linguistics what Indiana Jones does for archaeology with the advantage that Linguist is all true: an impassioned plea for language documentation, a call to adventure…. and hard work.
Prof. Judith Maxwell, Tulane University
This remarkable book, part fieldwork advice and part fieldwork autobiography, is written by one of the most experienced field linguists in the world. Practical advice on such topics as what to take to the field and how to avoid exotic diseases and political violence is punctuated by sometimes hair-raising personal anecdotes---monkey attacks, an attempted coral snake incursion into the author's bed, clever thieves, and more.
Prof. Sarah G. Thomason, University of Michigan
Linguist on the Loose is an excellent addition to fieldwork literature, with a fresh perspective, and can be read by experienced fieldworkers, students of linguistics, and even laypeople with an interest in fieldwork. While the book reflects Campbell’s predominantly Latin American work, it contains valuable lessons for fieldworkers operating in other regions of the world as well.
Sami Honkasalo, International Journal of American Linguistics
Lyle Campbell is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

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