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

Firs task for grading: DocuLing2018_Task_1

Slides are at the end of this page!

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?

*) You can download the whole book Essentials of Language Documentation (2006) here:

Further recommended reading: