Language Documentation and Description 20, (and a bit about Language Snapshots and Contexts)

The latest issue of Language Documentation and Description (edited by local hero @pkaustin!) has lots of good stuff.

There are two ongoing series of articles in LDD that I found interesting and thought I’d point out here in case anyone hasn’t seen them yet. Both categories of article are fairly short, but they contain the kind of general contextual information that the larger databases don’t often cover.

:camera: Language Snapshots

Edited by @pkaustin and local hero @laureng

About language snapshots [index]

Language Snapshots provide key summary information about endangered and minority languages and about the social and cultural situation of their speakers and communities. Language Snapshot articles aim to complement existing reference materials such as Glottolog or Ethnologue.

Three folks here have contributed language context articles:


:earth_asia: Language Contexts

Edited by @pkaustin and David Nathan

About language contexts [index]

Language Contexts provides an avenue for publishing information about the contexts in which a language or variety is spoken, rather than about the structure of the language/variety itself. Articles include information about speaker demography, social organisation, culture, linguistic ecology, language vitality, and language use and transmission in the local community, its diaspora and the Internet. Articles also include discussion of the range of languages/varieties in use by speakers, including socio-cultural factors affecting language/variety choice. Articles aim to provide detailed social, cultural and ethnographic information to complement existing reference materials such as Glottolog or Ethnologue .

Both @joeylovestrand and @JROSESLA have contributed Language Context articles (dang, @JROSESLA did THREE!) :muscle: :


I just want to strongly second that you consider contributing to this series!

I worked with the LDD team to launch the Language Contexts series, which we conceptualised as the kind of information that is in the background section of a sketch grammar. The Snapshots series is the short 2-3 pages you might find in a grant application. There is so much information about the world’s languages locked away in grant applications and unpublished grammar drafts, I hope it finds a home in LDD.

If you’re thinking of submitting to either of these article series, I’m very happy to chat!


Working with LDD on this was a super smooth process. Definitely recommend. In my case, I had already published similar info elsewhere in English so they worked with me to find French speakers to review and proofread (!) my attempt at a French version to make the info a bit more widely accessible.