Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 4, Issue 1–4, pp 123–155 | Cite as

Ethical Issues In Linguistic Fieldwork: An Overview

  • Keren RiceEmail author


Ethical issues in linguistic fieldwork have received surprisingly little direct attention in recent years. This article reviews ethical models for fieldwork and outlines the responsibilities of linguists involved in fieldwork on endangered languages to individuals, communities, and knowledge systems, focusing on fieldwork in a North American context.

Key words

endangered languages ethics and field linguistics 



I originally wrote this article for a presentation at the Linguistic Society of America in January 2000, and presented a version of it at Swarthmore College in February 2001. I would like to thank Megan Crowhurst for inviting me to be part of the panel at the Linguistic Society of America, and to the participants in the panel and the audience. I would also like to thank John Alderete for organizing my visit to Swarthmore College, and the members of the panel there, as well as to Ted Fernald and Donna Jo Napoli for much discussion. Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins and I have had many discussions around issues of ethics in fieldwork, and I thank her as well. Finally, a “thank you” to Will van den Hoonaard for encouraging me to submit this article to this particular issue of the Journal of Academic Ethics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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