Symposium: Language Endangerment and Language Maintenance: An Active Approach

29-30 November 1999

brief notes of points covered

1. documentary vs. descriptive linguistics

Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 1998. Documentary and descriptive linguistics. Linguistics 36.1,161-195.
  • keeping up with appropriate tools
  • linked audio / video / transcript (see "archiving" links)
  • maxim:
  • the documenting linguist, as creator /transcriber/ annotator, is in the best position maximise value of base materials: to document with a view to a variety of uses (incl unforeseen uses), incl educational / maintenance /revival;
    small early decisions can save later labour / barriers to use
    e.g. tags in lexicon: semantic domain coding; register (incl school-suitable, derivable from finer coding eg "archaic", etc); pictureable;
  • "language as it is written" hegemony
  • intonation, gesture; conversation (eg turn-taking, multilingual), utterance planning, code-switching (typically omitted from the description of any one language)
  • archiving
  • 2. place of EL associations



    © 1999David Nash