SIL International and the disciplinary culture of linguistics: Introduction

  title={SIL International and the disciplinary culture of linguistics: Introduction},
  author={Lise M. Dobrin},
  pages={618 - 619}
  • L. Dobrin
  • Published 17 October 2009
  • Sociology
  • Language
This collection of papers is an attempt to begin a new conversation among academic linguists about the scope, institutional underpinnings, and implications for academia of the work being carried out by our missionary counterparts, particularly the Bible translation organization SIL International (SIL). The observation that we take as our starting point is one that some linguists might never have considered, while others take it for granted: that there are systematic dependencies between our… 
Repurposing Bible Translations for Grammar Sketches
An experimental method for augmenting the number and scope of available language descriptions based on translations of Bible verses with the accompanying English text used as a guide to the underlying semantics is discussed.
The 16th edition of Ethnologue: Languages of the World has just appeared under the general editorship of M. Paul Lewis. The book is a massive attempt to name, classify, and describe all the languages
The monolingual approach in American linguistic fieldwork
In the first decades of the 20th century, fieldwork — collection of language data through direct interaction with a native speaker — was foundational to American linguistics. After a mid-century
On the role and utility of grammars in language documentation and conservation
It is argued that grammars (and dictionaries) should normally be included in the documentary record, if the goal is to produce products that are maximally useful to both linguists and speakers, now and in the future.
The global regime of language recognition
Abstract There is no universally accepted working linguistic definition of a language; the distinction between a dialect and a language is a political question. On the basis of a discussion of this
The art and practice of grammar writing
The chapters in this book may well appeal to anyone who decides to write a grammar, especially of an understudied language, but it is hoped that the book will be of particular value to junior grammar writers, and above all to students who are trying to sort out the enormous task that they will take on if they decide to study a language andwrite a grammar of it for their dissertation.
The Topology of Endangered Languages
Few sources exist from which to form impressions of how Indigenous Australians have made sense of the questions put to them by linguists. For one survey, conducted by Summer Institute of Linguistics
The online linguistic database : software for linguistic fieldwork
This dissertation describes and evaluates a piece of software designed to facilitate new, and enhance existing, collaboration, documentation, and analysis, and argues for the value of a certain methodological approach to linguistics broadly construed, one in which computation is key and where provisions are made for collaboration, data-sharing and data reuse.
The History of Linguistic Fieldwork
A full-fledged history of linguistic fieldwork would be an interesting subtopic within the history of linguistics, and would also be relevant to the history of ethnography, the history of European
Keeping Languages Alive: Documentation, Pedagogy and Revitalization
Part I. Documentation: 1. Language documentation and meta-documentation Peter K. Austin 2. A psycholinguistic assessment of language change in Eastern Indonesia: evidence from the HALA Project Amanda


SIL and a “New-found tribe”: The Amarakaeri experience
The most serious charge that has been made against the Wycliffe Bible Translators/Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) is that they are re? sponsible for ethnocide in the native com? munities with
Person, number and inclusivity in two andean languages
Abstract 1. The problem I wish to address here is first of all historiographie and that is the ultimate textual provenience of the analytic categories ‘inclusive’ and ‘exclusive’ as applied to person
Missionaries of the State: The Summer Institute of Linguistics, State Formation, and Indigenous Mexico, 1935-1985
Lazaro Cardenas, president of Mexico 1934-40, is widely remembered as the most nationalistic and populist Mexican executive and was demonized by foreign investors scandalized by his nationalization
Marking Time
Among the first linguistic innovations during early colonization/missionization in Bosavi, Papua New Guinea, was the introduction of vocabularies and discourses of marking and keeping various types
Mayan Language Revival and Revitalization Politics: Linguists and Linguistic Ideologies
Although spoken by a relatively large population, Mayan languages show signs of language shift and loss because the children in some of the speech communities are no longer learning the language. At
From Fetishism to Sincerity: On Agency, the Speaking Subject, and their Historicity in the Context of Religious Conversion
Central to much recent work in both anthropology and history is the concept of agency. This essay examines some problems with this concept that arise when we look for it across historical and
Linguists, Literacy, and the Law of Unintended Consequences
In 1970, the Pacific and Asian Linguistics Institute of the University of Hawai'i launched a fourteen-year effort designed to document and support the languages of Micronesia. The first goal of this
The White Edge of the Margin: Textuality and Authority in Biak, Irian Jaya, Indonesia
In Biak, Irian Jaya, in the far east of Indonesia, foreign slogans, narratives, and books are considered a crucial source of authority. In this article, I examine how amber beba (big foreigners), the
From linguistic elicitation to eliciting the linguist: Lessons in community empowerment from Melanesia
As an outsider, I would feel very uncomfortable if I were to advocate to a speech community that it ought to try to keep its language alive. It is entirely up to the community or to individuals
The Modern Mission: The Language Effects of Christianity
Christian missionaries have played a crucial role not only in assisting past and current forms of colonialism and neocolonialism, not only in attacking and destroying other ways of being, but also in