Practice and values
<i>Language documentation</i>, also often called <i>documentary linguistics</i>, 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.