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- South America; Iquitos; Peru; Brazil; Buenos Aires; Argentina; socio-political context; digital language archive; regional and international cooperation
This paper addresses a set of issues related to language documentation that are not often explicitly dealt with in academic publications, yet are highly important for the development and success of this new discipline. These issues include embedding language documentation in the socio-political context not only at the community level but also at the national level, the ethical and technical challenges of digital language archives, and the importance of regional and international cooperation among documentation activities. These issues play a major role in the initiative to set up a network of regional language archives in three South American countries, which this paper reports on. Local archives for data on endangered languages have recently been set up in Iquitos (Peru), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and in various locations in Brazil. An important feature of these is that they provide fast and secure access to linguistic and cultural data for local researchers and the language communities. They also make data safer by allowing for regular update procedures within the network.