Hannah Sarvasy & Diana Forker (eds.) 2018. Word Hunters. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
If you always wanted to know how field work in the Caucasus feels like and what experiences you can make when living in remote communities and study endangered languages, this book will provide you with answers and exciting stories.
In Word Hunters, edited by Hannah Sarvasy and Diana Forker, eleven distinguished linguists reflect on their career-spanning linguistic fieldwork. Over decades, each has repeatedly stood up to physical, intellectual, interpersonal, intercultural, and sometimes political challenges in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. These scholar-explorers have enlightened the world to the inner workings of languages in remote communities of Africa (West, East, and South), Amazonia, the Arctic, Australia, the Caucasus, Oceania, Siberia, and East Asia. They report some linguistic eureka moments, but also discuss cultural missteps, illness, and the other challenges of pursuing linguistic data in extreme circumstances. They write passionately about language death and their responsibilities to speech communities. The stories included here—the stuff of departmental and family legends—are published publicly for the first time.