Taught course

Language Documentation and Description

Institution
SOAS University of London · Department of Linguistics
Qualifications
MA

Entry requirements

Upper-second class degree (or equivalent) . Interview Policy: Candidates with non-standard qualifications are usually invited to interview.

Months of entry

September

Course content

Today, there are around 6-7,000 languages spoken in the world and it is widely agreed that at least half of those are under threat of extinction within 50 to 100 years. Language documentation is a new sub-discipline within linguistics that has emerged as a response to the growing crisis of language endangerment. It emphasises data collection methodologies, in two ways: first, in encouraging researchers to collect and record a wide range of linguistic phenomena in genuine communicative situations; and secondly, in its use of high quality sound and video recording to make sure that the results are the best possible record of the language.

The MA programme in Language Documentation and Description is intended for students who wish to specialise in the documentation and description of languages, with a focus on minority and endangered languages. This specialist MA is characterised by an integrated core of subject offerings that are oriented around issues in language documentation and description, plus a series of options in linguistics, applied linguistics, and language studies.

The programme is formulated with two main pathways:

MA Language Documentation and Description [Language Support and Revitalisation] provides an introductory overview of the study of language as well as courses geared at enabling students to support endangered and minority language communities in a number of ways. This pathway is open to students with or without a background in linguistics.

MA Language Documentation and Description [Field Linguistics] provides students with a sound knowledge of state-of-the-art methods and technology for language documentation and description with an emphasis on endangered and minority languages. This pathway is open to students who already hold an undergraduate major in linguistics/applied linguistics, or an MA in linguistics.

This course is part of the Endangered Languages Academic Programme (ELAP), which specifically aims to advance the documentation and description of endangered languages. ELAP also runs seminars, workshops, and intensive courses on the documentation of endangered languages. The programme is funded by the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund, and forms part of the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.

Information for international students

Information, including English language requirements, can be found here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/international/

Fees and funding

Please check https://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/funding/ for details.

Qualification and course duration

MA

part time
24-36 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Name
Student Recruitment Office
Email
study@soas.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 7898 4700