Research Articles

Small is beautiful: contributions of field-based corpora to different linguistic disciplines, illustrated by Jalonke

Author
  • Friederike Lüpke

Abstract

Field-based corpora are suddenly gaining a new importance due to the emergence of the field of documentary linguistics, going hand in hand with, and facilitated by, new technological possibilities in the domains of data storage and access. Rather than being the facultative appendix to any form of linguistic description, these corpora are more and more being seen as outcomes of linguistic research in their own right. ELDP and DOBES, the two largest funding bodies for the documentation of endangered languages, encourage the publication of (mainly electronic) corpora, which, if fulfilling certain conditions, have an enormous potential as an invaluable record of language and culture and as a database for the speech communities as well as for present and future multidisciplinary research. While the creation and use of these corpora opens up radically new possibilities, it also presents new challenges for field linguists and any potential users. It is the aim of this paper to outline a number of areas in which field-based corpora can make contributions to different linguistic and neighbouring disciplines as well as to language maintenance and revitalisation efforts. The paper further discusses some of the methodological, theoretical, ethical and practical difficulties of which I am aware in...

Keywords: documentary linguistics, field-based corpora, fieldwork, language maintenance, language revitalisation, possibilities, challenges, theory, corpus data, Jalonke, Guinea

How to Cite:

Lüpke, F., (2014) “Small is beautiful: contributions of field-based corpora to different linguistic disciplines, illustrated by Jalonke”, Language Documentation and Description 3, 75-105. doi: https://doi.org/10.25894/ldd277

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Published on
31 Jul 2014
Peer Reviewed