Article published in:Perspectives on Grammar Writing
Edited by Thomas E. Payne and David J. Weber
[Benjamins Current Topics 11] 2007
► pp. 1–9
A grammatical description is an essential component of any program of language documentation and preservation. With over half the languages in the world currently in danger of extinction within a century, the need for descriptive grammars is more critical than ever. Potential grammar writers often find themselves paralyzed by the massive prospect of describing a language. Additionally, grammar writing is a long term task, and more immediate concerns often preclude the expenditure of time and energy necessary to accomplish an adequate grammatical description. The papers in the present volume provide suggestions and encouragement from experienced grammar writers and users regarding concrete methods for approaching the complex task of writing a descriptive grammar of a language.