Documentary and Descriptive Linguistics
The documentary and descriptive linguistics concentration prepares students to collect and analyze new data on previously under-studied languages, and to prepare grammars, dictionaries, text collections and other descriptive materials that contribute to their full documentation. Many students who choose this concentration write a reference grammar of some language for their doctoral dissertations.
Coursework in documentary and descriptive Linguistics builds on the core M.A. and Ph.D. course requirements. It is structured around four "core courses" for the concentration: LIN 392 Tools for Linguistic Description; LIN 392 Linguistic Typology; LIN 385 Field Methods in Linguistic Description; and at least one seminar in phonology, syntax, or semantics. Other courses that cover various aspects of linguistic analysis, the structure and typology of different languages, and grammar writing or the preparation of other documentary and descriptive materials are offered on a regular basis by faculty who specialize in descriptive linguistics.
UT has a number of facilities that enhance documentary and descriptive linguistics. The Phonetics and Computational Linguistics Labs in the Department of Linguistics and the Linguistic Anthropology Multimedia Lab in the Department of Anthropology have a variety of tools and equipment that are useful for language documentation and analysis. The Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) is collecting digital audio, video, and text material on as many Latin American indigenous languages as possible. The Center for Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA) encourages linguistic work done in conjunction with communities of speakers of Latin American indigenous languages and sponsors conferences and symposia on those languages, as well as hosting indigenous students and visiting professors from Latin America.