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Documenting Endangered Languages

Achievements and Perspectives

Edited by: Geoffrey L.J. Haig, Nicole Nau, Stefan Schnell and Claudia Wegener
The rapid decline in the world's linguistic diversity has prompted the emergence of documentary linguistics. While documentary linguistics aims primarily at creating a durable, accessible and comprehensive record of languages, it has also been a driving force in developing language annotation and analysis software, archiving architecture, improved fieldwork methodologies, and new standards in data accountability and accessibility. More recently, researchers have begun to recognize the immense potential available in the archived data as a source for linguistic analysis, so that the field has become of increasing importance for typologists, but also for neighbouring disciplines. The present volume contains contributions by practitioners of language documentation, most of whom have been involved in the Volkswagen Foundation's DoBeS programme (Dokumentation Bedrohter Sprachen). The topics covered in the volume reflect a field that has matured over the last decade and includes both retrospective accounts as well as those that address new challenges: linguistic annotation practice, fieldwork and interaction with speech communities, developments and challenges in archiving digital data, multimedia lexicon applications, corpora from endangered languages as a source for primary-data typology, as well as specific areas of linguistic analysis that are raised in documentary linguistics.

Author Information

Geoffrey L. J. Haig, Universität Bamberg, Germany; Nicole Nau, Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza, Posnan, Poland; Stefan Schnell, Universität Kiel, Germany; Claudia Wegener, Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie Leipzig, Germany.


"The lessons in this volume are indispensable contributions to the field that make significant advances in the practice of documentary linguistics as a whole. Any documentary linguist, whether weathered veterans or just entering the field, would be remiss to neglect the lessons from it."Daniel W. Hieber in Linguist List 23.2390
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Audience: Documentary Linguists, Anthropologists, Typologists, Lexicographers, Descriptive Linguists, Language Archivists, University Libraries