Language Documentation

Practice and values

ORCID logoLenore A. Grenoble | University of Chicago
N. Louanna Furbee | University of Missouri, Columbia
ISBN 9789027211750 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027212016 | EUR 36.00 | USD 54.00
ISBN 9789027287830 | EUR 99.00/36.00*
| USD 149.00/54.00*
Google Play logo
Language documentation, also often called documentary linguistics, is a relatively new subfield in linguistics which has emerged in part as a response to the pressing need for collecting, describing, and archiving material on the increasing number of endangered languages. The present book details the most recent developments in this rapidly developing field with papers written by linguists primarily based in academic institutions in North America, although many conduct their fieldwork elsewhere. The articles in this volume — position papers and case studies — focus on some of the most critical issues in the field. These include (1) the nature of contributions to linguistic theory and method provided by documentary linguistics, including the content appropriate for documentation; (2) the impact and demands of technology in documentation; (3) matters of practice in collaborations among linguists and communities, and in the necessary training of students and community members to conduct documentation activities; and (4) the ethical issues involved in documentary linguistics.
[Not in series, 158] 2010.  xviii, 340 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Tant de bo aquest llibre, fet amb erudició i gran professionalitat, rebi l'atenció que es mereix fora de les fronteres dels Països Catalans i que la seva difusió arribi als filòlegs, romanistes, historiadors i altres estudiosos d'arreu del món interessats pels processos de codificació en general i per la llengua catalana en particular.”
“The traditional language documentation apparatus of grammar, dictionary and text collection is no longer adequate for modern documentary linguistics. Today we want to preserve performance data as well, which entails additional community participation and heavy use of modern technology. Consequently, we encounter a multitude of new questions about intellectual property rights, adequate documentation, maximizing and standardizing the potential of technology, cooperation with revitalization efforts, and more. This book collects experts' and beginners' position papers and case studies covering the wide range of issues to be considered in the practice of today's documentary linguistics. It is an important textbook and reference guide for both seasoned and new practitioners from inside and outside of academia.”
“The contributors to this volume all share a sense of commitment and enthusiasm for the hard work of language documentation. Although they present may perspectives, their works all exhibit a preoccupation with the ethical practice of language documentation. As those persons labor to save languages that are endangered, or at least save a persistent and useable record of them, they are more concerned with the impact of the manner of their work than many of their predecessors have been.”
“This rich collection addresses the many sides of language documentation and the issues they raise: the practical, methodological, intellectual, technological, cultural, interpersonal, and ethical. The contributions are varied but impressively coherent. As a group, the contributors bring a wealth of experience working with different languages and communities to the discussion, and expertise in all aspects of the documentation process. At the same time, certain threads run through the set, not the least of which is the value of collaboration between community members and linguists. Useful reading for anyone contemplating, embarking on or engaged in a language documentation project.”
“This is an indispensable volume, that should become a classroom staple. A terrific collection of rich, readable, thought-provoking, and very practical chapters.”
“Here is abundance, coming at just the right time. The drive to document languages is a new pressing imperative for linguists, but a dense thicket of issues – intellectual, practical, social, ethical – threaten to frustrate their attempts to fulfill it. This book points out the hazards, and charts a path through them, combining focused position papers with the revealing experiences of dozens of practitioners.”
“This is an exciting, wide-ranging exploration of the still-developing field of language documentation. It highlights the roles of technological advances and of ethical considerations in moving fieldwork from a solo enterprise to a multipurpose enterprise undertaken by and for diverse stakeholders, including both researchers and speaker communities. The collection is anchored by solid position papers, interspersed with illuminating case studies. Readers will come away from the volume fired by the possibilities of this field while also sobered by its intellectual and ethical challenges.”
Cited by

Cited by 9 other publications

Avelino, Heriberto
2019. The ecology of variation and change in the context of language attrition. Language Ecology 3:1  pp. 28 ff. DOI logo
Dash, Niladri Sekhar & L. Ramamoorthy
2019. Corpus and Dialect Study. In Utility and Application of Language Corpora,  pp. 139 ff. DOI logo
Goddard, Cliff & Anna Wierzbicka
2014. Semantic fieldwork and lexical universals. Studies in Language 38:1  pp. 80 ff. DOI logo
King, Alexander D.
2015. Add language documentation to any ethnographic project in six steps. Anthropology Today 31:4  pp. 8 ff. DOI logo
Taylor-Adams, Allison
2023. Relational applied research: A model for re-balancing research relationships for equity in applied linguistics. Language Teaching 56:4  pp. 566 ff. DOI logo
Voelkel, Svenja & Franziska Kretzschmar
2021. Introducing Linguistic Research, DOI logo
Wilbur, Joshua & Michael Rießler
2022. Working with language data. In Handbook of Pragmatics [Handbook of Pragmatics, ],  pp. 3 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED. Language in Society 40:4  pp. 535 ff. DOI logo

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Main BIC Subject

CBX: Language: history & general works

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2010022703 | Marc record