Language documentation and field linguistics

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Language documentation has emerged as a response to the pressing need for collecting, describing, and archiving material on the increasing number of endangered languages. This paper draws together issues raised throughout the volume as to the nature of documentation from every angle – from early training to work in the field to the creation and archiving of the documentation corpus. A critical assessment of the state of the field today shows a rise in new models for training to meet the needs of documentary linguists but also calls for continuing development of better methods to ensure that both the process of documentation and the end products meet the evolving needs of speakers and linguists now and in the future.


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