Edited by Mário Pinharanda-Nunes and Hugo C. Cardoso
2019 ISBN 978-0-9973295-6-8
In the time spanning from Himmelmann’s (1998) seminal article, the practice of language documentation has understandably developed a discernible focus on endangered, minority, and lesser described languages.
As a result of the realization of the global pervasiveness of language endangerment, these associated endeavours have significantly expanded their vitality and visibility in recent years. However, contact languages have been to some extent absent from discourses on language endangerment, but also from institutional initiatives to counter the situation. In practice, contact languages have also been and continue to be the object of language documentation, description, and revitalization efforts, as demonstrated in this special volume with concrete reference to the regions of South, Southeast, and East Asia.
Edited by Gary Holton & Thomas F. Thornton ISBN 978-0-9973295-4-4 March 1, 2019
It is difficult to imagine place names research in Alaska without the work of James Kari. Through his tireless field work and advocacy, Dr. Kari has collaborated with speakers of all of Alaska’s Dene languages to help build a comprehensive record of Dene geographic knowledge. When Jim came to Alaska in 1972, the documentation of Dene languages was fragmentary at best, and the only records of Native place names were those found inaccurately spelled on maps and gazetteers. Now nearly a half a century later we are surrounded by Native names—from K’esugi Ridge in Susitna Valley to Troth Yeddha’ on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. The increased visibility of Alaska Native place names today is due in no small part to Jim’s efforts. His work has inspired a generation of scholars, including the contributors to this volume, and continues to set the standard for toponymy research in Alaska and beyond.
This volume is an outcome of a collaborative multi-year research project on Questionnaires for linguistic description and typology. For the purposes of the project, we use Questionnaire (with a capital Q) as a general term to cover any kind of methodological tool designed to elicit linguistic expressions, including word lists, visual stimuli, descriptive templates, field manuals, and the like. This volume thus brings together articles about written questionnaires and visual stimuli, which due to their epistemological differences are rarely considered together, and treats them as sub-types of the large category of methodological tools that help linguists carry out descriptive and comparative work.
Edited by Bradley McDonnell, Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker & Gary Holton
University of Hawai‘i Press
December 31, 2018
This volume reflects on key issues in the field of language documentation on the 20 year anniversary of Nikolaus Himmelmann’s seminal article “Documentary and descriptive linguistics” in the journal Linguistics. Himmelmann’s central argument that language documentation should “be conceived of as a fairly independent field of linguistic inquiry and practice” has prompted major theoretical and practical shifts, helping to establish documentary linguistics as a genuine subfield of linguistics. Now 20 years later we are able ask: how has this new field evolved? Continue reading →
By Bert Remijsen & Otto Gwado Ayoker ISBN: 978-0-9973295-2-9
This special publication of Language Documentation & Conservation presents descriptive analyses on topics in the grammar of Shilluk, a Nilo Saharan language spoken primarily in South Sudan. A salient characteristic of Shilluk is that it is rich in fusional morphology. That is, stem-internal changes, particularly in terms of tone and vowel length, have a high functional load in the paradigms of verbs and nouns. From 2008 onwards, we have built up a detailed understanding of these contrasts and their role in the grammar. Accountability is a central concern in documentary and descriptive linguistics, and it is one that has determined the design of this publication in various ways. One way we are ensuring that our description is accountable is by including sound examples. We do this because the phenomena themselves are sounds; transcriptions based on the sounds are hypotheses. Aside from making the work more accountable, sound examples embedded in publications make the phenomena more accessible, reducing the threshold between the reader and an unfamiliar language.
This grammar represents a long-term project. It will be published in instalments.
Kristine A. Hildebrandt, Carmen Jany & Wilson Silva
The papers in this special publication are the result of presentations and follow-up dialogue on emergent and alternative methods to documenting variation in endangered, minority, or otherwise under-represented languages. Recent decades have seen a burgeoning interest in many aspects of language documentation and field linguistics and there is also a great deal of material dealing with language variation in major languages.
In contrast, intersections of language variation in endangered and minority languages are still few in number. Yet examples of those few cases published on the intersection of language documentation and language variation reveal exciting potentials for linguistics as a discipline, challenging and supporting classical models, creating new models and predictions.
Edited by Danielle Barth and Nicholas Evans
The Social Cognition Parallax Interview Corpus (SCOPIC) provides naturalistic but cross-linguistically-matched corpus data with enriched annotations of grammatical categories relevant to social cognition. By ‘parallax corpus’ we mean ‘broadly comparable formulations resulting from a comparable task’, to avoid the implications of ‘parallel corpus’ that there will be exact semantic equivalence across languages. The problem with that, from a semantic typologist’s point of view, is that it can only be achieved by privileging the semantic structure of the source language in the translations, and that it prevents us from studying the fundamental question of how languages – or the formulation practices of speech communities – bias the expression of particular categories in language-specific ways.
This volume will grow incrementally with new chapters added between 2017 and 2020.
Edited by Mandana Seyfeddinipur
University of Hawai‘i Press
Over the past 20 years, language documentation activities have been increasing all over the world. Major funding initiatives in Germany (Dokumentation Bedrohter Sprachen (DoBeS) funded by Volkswagen Stiftung), the UK (Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) funded by Arcadia) and the US (Documentation of Endangered Languages (DEL) funded by the National Science Foundation) have enabled more and more scholars and students to conduct fieldwork and to document languages for which little or no documentation exists. Continue reading →
University of Hawai‘i Press
The Mutsun-English English-Mutsun Dictionary
By Natasha Warner, Lynnika Butler and Quirina Geary
Mutsun is a Costanoan language (part of the Utian language family) from California in the area around the modern towns of San Juan Bautista, Hollister, and Gilroy. The last fluent speaker of Mutsun, Mrs. Ascension Solarsano, died in 1930. Because of her work and the work of earlier native Mutsun speakers with early linguists, there is a large written corpus of Mutsun. This dictionary was compiled by analyzing that documentation. The dictionary is written to be useful both for language revitalization and for linguistic research.
University of Hawai‘i Press
Europe is a continent with low linguistic diversity and the number of minority and endangered languages is reduced in comparison to other parts of the world. Consequently, Europe is not in the focus of the researchers working on language documentation. Apart from some “major” minority languages in Europe (Catalan, Galician, Breton, Welsh, Basque, etc.), several of the European endangered languages are not known in detail (even in the academia) or documented in a concise and comprehensive way. Primary data on these languages, reflecting their everyday use, is almost non-existent. Moreover, the linguistic diversity in Europe is also unknown to the general public.