The Linguist

TheLinguist 58,3-June/July 2019

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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20 The Linguist Vol/58 No/3 2019 FEATURES The good Working on any language will reveal many stimulating and potentially challenging details about the grammar, lexicon or social grounding of a language and its community of speakers. In a very real sense, every day in the field is filled with wondrous revelations and eureka moments. While working with speakers of Tofa, a moribund Turkic language spoken in east-central Siberia, I realised that one particular suffix, –ZIg, means 'to smell of ____'. Revelations may even come in the form of identifying a previously hidden language. The Hruso Aka of Arunachal Pradesh, India, for example, described another local community as "exactly the same as us, just a little bit different in dialect", but when working with speakers of that other 'dialect' I realised that this was a distinct language used by a community who had self-invisibilised into the other larger one. They spoke Koro Aka, a language that had previously escaped the notice of trained professional linguists, and thus was new to scientific investigation. These kinds of revelations are the bread and butter of linguistic researchers in the field. From eureka moments to violent encounters, Gregory Anderson considers the good, the bad and the ugly of linguistic fieldwork W ith over 30 years of fieldwork experience on every inhabited continent (sorry Antarctica!) and across the islands of the Pacific, I have had an enormous range of experiences across the full emotional spectrum. Elation, exhilaration, joy, sadness, remorse, loneliness, despair and fear have all been my fellow travellers. All have helped shape me into the person and linguist I am today; you cannot take the good without the bad or the ugly in linguistic fieldwork. Ideally, every experience helps you learn how to do things better – and what to avoid. Intrepid explorer © DR K DAVID HARRISON/L IVING TONGUES INSTITUTE FOR ENDANGERED LANGUAGES

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