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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Documenting the linguistic practices of an endangered-language community necessarily crosses the boundaries of fields other than linguistics, as these practices encode a rich knowledge of the natural world. In pursuing a language documentation project linguists will encounter questions which cross into the domains of biology, astronomy, geology, mathematics, nutrition, agriculture, and more. Adequate recording of these domains requires collaboration with specialists from relevant disciplines, in order to ensure that the resulting documentation is useful to a broad range of scholars. Interdisciplinary language documentation brings additional benefits in the form of insights which can be gained only when indigenous language experts work with disciplinary peers. This chapter outlines some of the benefits of interdisciplinary language documentation as well as some of the challenges and suggestions for overcoming those challenges. Examples of interdisciplinary fieldwork are illustrated through case studies in ethnobotany, cultural astronomy, and ethnomathematics.

Keywords: ethnobotany, interdisciplinary, cultural astronomy, ethnomathematics, collaboration

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