Documentary and descriptive linguistics

1998 Linguistics  
Much of the work that is labeled 'descriptive' within linguistics comprises two activities, i.e. the collection of primary data and a (low-level) analysis of these data. These are indeed two separate activities as shown by the fact that the methods employed in each activity differ substantially. To date, the field concerned with the first activity -called 'documentary linguistics' here -has received very little attention from linguists. It is proposed that documentary linguistics be conceived
more » ... as a fairly independent field of linguistic inquiry and practice which is no longer linked exclusively to the descriptive framework. A format for language documentations (in contrast to language descriptions) is presented and various practical and theoretical issues connected with this format are discussed. These include the rights of the individuals and communities contributing to a language documentation, the parameters for the selection of the data to be included in a documentation, and the assessment of the quality of such data. 1
doi:10.1515/ling.1998.36.1.161 fatcat:d3w37pydyfawpov6ka2766u65e