Language Documentation &

Linguistic Theory 3

School of Oriental and African Studies, London

18 - 20 November 2011

Workshop on Language Documentation and Archiving

Organised in conjunction with the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR)

The ELAR Workshop on Language Documentation and Archiving brings together language documenters and archivists to discuss the latest developments in their areas of research in an attempt to create a new common ground. The workshop will be held on 18 November 2011 as part of Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory 3, at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

The plenary speaker is Professor Anthony Woodbury, University of Texas at Austin

Workshop details and programme


Workshop themes

The next ten years will be crucial for the study and support of the world's linguistic diversity. Languages will disappear faster than ever in key regions of the world at the same time as funding sources for documentation, archiving and revitalisation are going to become scarcer. Changing expectations about access to language resources and rapidly developing communications technologies may make today's approaches to documentation and archiving seem increasingly irrelevant.

As Language Documentation emerged as a distinct field over the past 10 years, it was often seen as the sum of fieldwork, descriptive linguistics, and archiving. Documenters looked to archives for solutions to non-linguistic challenges such as working with media and managing data. Today, many documenters have integrated the required media and technological skills into their own work, so archives can refocus on services such as disseminating language resources in innovative ways, and providing new forms of outreach. As archives become publishers of documentation, we will no longer have to choose only between protecting sensitive data and publishing academic papers about it.

Abstracts are invited from anyone involved in language documentation and/or archiving, addressing questions such as:

  • What is the relationship between documentation and archiving, and where (if anywhere) is the boundary between them?
  • What contributions can archives make to language revitalisation?
  • What other fields (e.g. corpus creation) can we look to for models and techniques?
  • What should the outcomes of language documentation be like, how should
    they be presented in archives, and how can they be used?
  • What roles can archives play in the evaluation and valorisation of documentation?
  • What roles should archives play in the delivery of resources to communities?
  • How can archives connect to a wider range of people about issues of language endangerment?


Abstracts for the Workshop on Language Documentation and Archiving should be submitted in the same way as those for the main LDLT3 session. Each presentation has 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Each individual may present up to one single authored paper and one joint paper throughout the whole conference.

Abstracts should be anonymous, a minimum of 11pt font and one page in length, including references and examples. They should be in .doc or .pdf format (but not .docx format) and the filename should start with LDLT3, followed by an underscore and then first authors' surname, e.g. LDLT3_ashmore.pdf. If you have a common surname, please also include initials, e.g. LDLT3_jjones.pdf.

You should make clear in the body of your abstract whether it is intended for the main session or the workshop.

Abstracts should be submitted using the LDLT3 EasyAbs site, which is now open.

The deadline for the submission of all abstracts is Monday 16 May 2011.

Applicants will be notified of abstract acceptance by Monday 13 June 2011.

All contributors will be asked to submit a short version of their paper to be published in the conference proceedings. Further details will be made available once abstracts have been selected.

Papers from the first LDLT conference in 2007, and papers from LDLT2 in 2009, are now available online.

Important dates

  • Deadline for abstract submission: Monday 16 May 2011
  • Applicants notified of abstract acceptance: Monday 13 June 2011
  • 'Short papers' due date for publication in conference proceedings: Monday 19 September 2011
  • Registration ends: Monday 15 November 2011
  • Workshop: Friday 18 November 2011
  • Main conference session: Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 November 2011


All enquiries should be directed to Teresa Poeta at: