Studie z Aplikované Lingvistiky (May 2021)

Time-bounded Fieldwork “Ex-situ” or On Fieldwork Without Unlearning Another Language

  • Florian Siegl

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
pp. 53 – 80


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This essay discusses two episodes of temporally bounded consultant work on Tundra Yukaghir (isolate) and Tuvan (Turkic) and attempts to bridge, or at least narrow the gap between reflexive anthropological thinking (e.g., Geertz, 1973, 1988) and reasoning about linguistic fieldwork. In this respect, the essay is a follow-up on Siegl (2018), which analyzed experiences from fieldwork in moribund speech communities. Similar to Siegl (2018), this essay also focuses more on data gathering and (personal) challenges in the field and less on presenting polished research results; therefore, references to literature on linguistic fieldwork are minimized (this literature was covered in detail in Siegl, 2010, 2018). Given that the process of data gathering is usually blended out in research reports, a second aim of this essay is to offer insights on consultant/fieldwork in action so that this process becomes more transparent and can be evaluated by those without primary research interests in this sub-discipline of linguistics.