Language Documentation and Description (LIN4109.01)

Leah Pappas

In this course, we will learn about the current language endangerment crisis and methods that can be implemented to mitigate it. The course will be both theoretical and practical, starting with a discussion of the reasons for the loss of linguistic diversity around the world and what linguists are doing as a response. Students will concurrently learn language documentation methods such as ethics in documentation, video and audio recording, and data management. Working with a native speaker of a language, students will learn to elicit phonological and grammatical information while also collecting domains of traditional knowledge and natural speech. Throughout the course, students will conduct targeted linguistic description of the language’s phonology and grammar.


Learning Outcomes:
• Understand the factors contributing to language loss throughout the world
• Be able to independently set up a recording session with clear video and audio and targeted linguistic data
• Be able to analyze the phonology and grammar of a language with a descriptive lens
• Make use of previously-learned linguistic concepts and apply them to the analysis of a new language
• Be able to navigate language documentation software for transcription and dictionary-creation



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students must have familiarity with the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
Th 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: Linguistics , Four Credit , 4000 , All courses , Sociolinguistics , Fully In-Person
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