LD&C Special Publication No. 15: Reflections on Language Documentation 20 Years After Himmelmann 1998

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    SP15 Whole Volume
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2018-12-01)
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    SP15 Cover
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2018-12-01)
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    SP15 Front Matter
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2018-12-01)
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    Introduction
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2018-12-01) McDonnell, Bradley ; Holton, Gary ; Berez-Kroeker, Andrea L.
    This chapter introduces the volume, Reflections on Language Documentation 20 Years after Himmelmann 1998, providing a short justification for the volume, summarizing each of the four major parts of the volume, and identifying major themes that emerge in the 31 chapters. It concludes by noting some of the volume's limitations.
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    Reflections on the scope of language documentation
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 2018-12-01) Good, Jeff
    Language documentation is understood as the creation, annotation, preservation, and dissemination of transparent records of a language. This leads to questions as to what precisely is meant by terms such as annotation, preservation, and dissemination, as well as what patterns of linguistic behavior fall within the scope of the term language. Current approaches to language documentation tend to focus on a relatively narrow understanding of a language as a lexicogrammatical code. While this dimension of a language may be the most salient one for linguists, languages are also embedded in larger social structures, and the interaction between these structures and the deployment of lexicogrammatical codes within a community is an important dimension of a language which also merits documentation. Work on language documentation highlights the significance of developing theoretical models that underpin the notion of language, and this can have an impact not only for the practices of documentary linguists but also for the larger field of linguistics. It further suggests that documentary linguistics should not merely be seen as a subfield that is oriented around the collection of data but as one that is in a position to make substantive contributions to linguistic theory.