Training linguists to document endangered languages

Carol Genetti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Language documentation is a complex undertaking requiring varied technical and interpersonal skills, in addition to a strong foundation in linguistics. A full training program would include: immersion in the literature on language endangerment and language documentation; project planning; grant writing; preparation for the practical and psychological challenges of fieldwork; extensive discussion of a wide range of ethical issues; an understanding of factors that impact community decisions on orthographies; development of technical skills (e.g., audio-video recording, mastery of software, data management, archiving); phonetic and discourse transcription; the analysis, glossing, and translation of texts; grammar writing; and lexicography. There are many resources and models for providing such training, which can be embedded into the university curriculum (including field methods), offered at workshops or institutes, or taught in situ in apprenticeship or service-learning models.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Endangered Languages
EditorsKenneth Rehg, Lyle Campbell
StatePublished - 2018


  • training
  • field methods
  • language documentation
  • teaching
  • pedagogy


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