Created in 2022 in response to a request from the LSA's Natives4Linguistics Special Interest Group to the Ethics Committee and the Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation, asking these committees to develop a policy to hold linguists accountable to return language materials created in linguistic research back to the heritage language community. The Ethics Committee's conclusion was that the LSA cannot ‘develop a policy to hold linguists accountable’ because the LSA lacks the regulatory or legal authority to enforce such a policy.  But an ad hoc committee could develop a statement describing professional expectations with respect to the return of language materials to the heritage language community. Then, hopefully, people could use such a statement to help make sure materials are returned in an appropriate way.


To develop a proposal for a statement to be adopted by the LSA describing the obligations of linguists to return materials documenting the linguistic heritage of a community that they collect during research and related activities.


Shobhana Chelliah, University of North Texas, Chair

Claire Bowern, Yale University

Lauren Collister, University of Pittsburgh

Raina Heaton, University of Oklahoma

Susan Smythe Kung, University of Texas at Austin

Megan Lukaniec, University of Victoria/Huron-Wednat Nation

Adrienne Tsikewa, University of California, Santa Barbara/Zuni Pueblo

Staff Liaison: Vy Le

Executive Committee Liaison: Anthony Woodbury