12 , 2016 , International Christian University the Division of Languages
This paper addresses issues of linguistic research on endangered languages including ethics and conflicts between researchers and speakers of the targeted languages. In particular, the transition of a researcher is described by comparing my fieldwork experiences on languages in vigorous use and languages in danger of disappearing. I discuss how my views toward research have transformed from researcher-driven to community-driven, and how the role of researchers has grown from primary research conductors focusing on their research questions to research collaborators of the communities accommodating the needs of the communities. Some conflicts between researchers and language speakers in the community are illustrated by trying to tell both sides of the story, and the importance of appreciating language speakers’ history and background is especially stressed to understand those conflicts and to prepare fieldwork on endangered languages. The difficulty in balancing between professional and personal involvement in the research is also considered.