Documentary Linguistics: Students’ page (tasks, texts and slides)

Review Questions: Docu1_2018_reviewquestions



Materials and homework

Material for the class 11.12.2018 (the North Wind and the Sun will be used in the lecture 18.12.)

Homework for those who missed the lecture 04.12.:
Please do the excercises on ELAN at home, as we will go on with ELAN in the next lecture (11.12.). Here they are:

Homework for the lecture 04.12.2018

Download and install the program ELAN on your computer, from this site: If possible, take your computer with you to the lectures in December! We need at least one computer per 2 students. Also take head phones with you!

Download the following sound files, store them on the computer that you will bring to class:

Homework for the lecture 27.11. is on the slides of 20.11.

Homework for the lecture 13.11.
Read (parts of) Brickle’s article, especially about standards for filming and the workflow and the ideas behind the videos he made!
Timothy C. Brickell (2018). Linguistic fieldwork: perception, preparation, and practice. In Peter K. Austin & Lauren Gawne (eds) Language Documentation and Description, vol 15. London: EL Publishing. pp. 179-207.
Online at:
Take a look at his videos here:

AND/OR (alternative text):
Read the first half of this chapter:
Podesva, Robert & Zsiga, Elizabeth. 2013. Sound recording: acoustic and articulatory data. In: Podesva & Sharma, eds. Research Methods in Linguistics. PodesvaZsiga2013SoundRecording

No homework for the lecture 06.11. (but recommended reading on the last slide of the presentation 30.10.) – do your First Task and catch up with the previous homework!

Homework (reading) for the lectures 23.10. and 30.10.:

  • Johnson, Heidi. 2004. Language documentation and archiving, or how to build a better corpus. Language Documentation and Description, ed. Peter K. Austin, vol. 2, 140-153. London: SOAS. Available at:
  • Mosel, Ulrike. 2006. Fieldwork and community language work (in: Essentials of Language Documentation, see below)

Homework for the first two weeks (for the lectures 9.10. and 16.10.):

Read the following texts, note the main point(s) made in each section and find answers to the questions given below:

  • Himmelmann 2006. Language documentation: What is it and what is it good for? *)
  • Berge, Anna. 2010. Adequacy in documentation. In Furbee-Losee & Grenoble, eds., 51-66. (e-book, access through library portal). PDF here: BergeAdequacy


  1. For whom and for which purposes are languages documented?
  2. Why should native speakers take an active part in documenting a language?
  3. Why is it important to store primary data in open archives?
  4. Why is it not possible to record all communicative events in a given speech community?
  5. What are the functions of metadata?
  6. What is the relationship between documentation and description?
  7. Why are grammars and dictionaries NOT “lasting, multipurpose records” of a language?

Further recommended reading: