Research Articles

Current Trends in Language Documentation

  • Peter K. Austin
  • Lenore A. Grenoble


The past ten years has seen the emergence of a new field of linguistic research with the development of documentary linguistics and language documentation. For many researchers and communities, especially those speaking endangered languages, the focus of language work has shifted to a new attention to recording and analyzing language in use in ways that serves a wide range of constituencies, not least the speaker communities themselves. A number of influences have lead to the development of this new field, and it has benefited from developments in technology, a change in relations between researchers and those whose languages they study, and a change in the vision of what the goals and uses of linguistic research can be. A number of outstanding issues remain, and we can be sure that further challenges will appear, and be addressed as documentary linguistics as a field matures in coming years.

Keywords: documentary linguistics, language documentation, endangered languages, technology, linguistic theory, users, definitions, diversity, data, archiving, funding, language description

How to Cite:

Austin, P. & Grenoble, L., (2007) “Current Trends in Language Documentation”, Language Documentation and Description 4, 12-25. doi:

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Published on
31 Jul 2007
Peer Reviewed