Fall 2018 Courses

LING 680: Introduction to Language Documentation & Conservation (CRN 76461)

Wednesdays 3:00-5:30 pm
Moore 204

The task of language documentation is to provide a “comprehensive record of the linguistic practices characteristic of a given speech community” (Himmelmann 1998: 166). With its focus on the linguistic record, language documentation remains central to all approaches to linguistics, irrespective of theoretical framework. More recently, with increasing awareness of global language endangerment crisis, language documentation has come to be recognized as a distinct subfield within the discipline, with its own methodologies, tools, and theoretical underpinnings. This course provides an introduction to this emerging field.


Annie Miller Peterson (Coos) recording with Melville Jacobs.
University of Washington Special Collections UW23239z

The course covers the history, method, and theory behind language documentation, and the role that language endangerment plays in shaping the field of language documentation. It will offer discussion of the skills required to undertake language documentation, including preparing for fieldwork; obtaining funding; collecting data; conducting language surveys; designing orthographies, grammars, and dictionaries; processing texts; adapting documentary materials for language revitalization or maintenance purposes; and disseminating and archiving research products. More broadly, the course serves as an introduction to the Language Documentation and Conservation track, to the UHM Linguistics Program, and to graduate study more broadly.

[syllabus]