Research Articles

Participant-driven language archiving



This paper presents some general considerations and some specific desiderata for what I call participant-driven language archiving (PDLA). PDLA is an archiving component that assigns role-appropriate archiving rights and responsibilities to individuals and communities who participate as ‘human subjects’ of linguistic research. Language archives claiming to serve speaker communities as well as researchers should have a coherent strategy for involving community members in the archiving process. They can engage relevant stakeholders in the continual recreation of meaning from archived material to ensure that those materials do not become dated or frozen in time. Moreover, they can address asymmetries in the treatment by archives of depositors versus the participants in the language documentation process. Enabling speakers to assert their moral authority over materials that they participated in creating, and connecting them to other archive users, will raise new potentials and challenges while moving archiving and language documentation in an exciting new direction.

Keywords: participant-driven language archiving, archiving, linguistic research, human subjects, speaker communities, language documentation

How to Cite: Garrett, E. (2014) “Participant-driven language archiving”, Language Documentation and Description. 12(0). doi: