Potentials of language documentation: Methods, analyses, and utilization
In the past 10 or so years, intensive documentation activities, i.e. compilations of large, multimedia corpora of spoken endangered languages have contributed to the documentation of important linguistic and cultural aspects of dozens of languages. As laid out in Himmelmann (1998), language documentations include as their central components a collection of spoken texts from a variety of genres, recorded on video and/or audio, with time-aligned annotations consisting of transcription, translation, and also, for some data, morphological segmentation and glossing. Text collections are often complemented by elicited data, e.g. word lists, and structural descriptions such as a grammar sketch. All data are provided with metadata which serve as cataloguing devices for their accessibility in online archives. These newly available language documentation data have enormous potential.