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Documentary and descriptive linguistics*NIKOLAUS P. HIMMELMANNAbstraetMuch of the work that is labeled "deseriptive" within linguistics comprisestwo activities, the collection of primary data and a (low-level) analysis ofthese data. These are indeed two separate activities as shown by the factthat the methods employed in each activity differ substantially. To date,the field concerned with the first aetivity — called "doeumentary linguisties"here — has received very little attention from linguists. It is proposed thatdocumentary linguistics be conceived of as a fairly independent field oflinguistic inquiry and practice that is no longer linked exclusively to thedescriptive framework. A format for language documentations (in contrastto language deseriptions) is presented (section 2), and various practicaland theoretical issues connected with this format are discussed. Theseinclude the rights of the individuals and communities contributing to alanguage doeumentation (section 3.1), the par...