The number of languages spoken in the world today runs up to several thousand. Only a small part of them can be said to be linguistically well documented. Theories of language in general must consider the whole array of variation found in particular languages, just as theories of man in general can only be built on a sound knowledge of the cultural variability of mankind. It is necessary, therefore, to collect reliable information on as many structurally different languages as possible. Within a few years, hundreds of languages will have disappeared leaving scarcely a trace. The amazing wealth of cultural and linguistic diversity is menaced today as it never was before in human history. To preserve this heritage from oblivion has become an urgent task.
The MOUTON GRAMMAR LIBRARY builds an extensive collection of high quality descriptions of languages around the world. Each volume offers a comprehensive grammatical description of a single language together with fully analyzed sample texts, if possible, a comprehensive vocabulary, and all relevant information which is available on the language in question. There are no restrictions as to language family or area, and although special attention is paid to hitherto unknown languages, new and valuable treatments of better known languages are also included. No theoretical model is imposed on the authors; the only criterion is a high standard of scientific quality.
The series serves the needs of everyone who wants to know more about linguistic diversity in general, and/or about specific languages of a given area or culture. Care is taken, therefore, that the volumes be accessible not only to the professional linguist, but also to a broad range of readers and users from all fields of interest.