Category Archives: Language Documentation

Language Documentation & Conservation, vol. 10 (2016)

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The latest edition of the National Foreign Language Resource Center’s free and open-access journal Language Documentation & Conservation volume 10 contains the following scholarly works:

Articles

Chirila: Contemporary and Historical Resources for the Indigenous Languages of Australia Claire Bowern, 1

Language Acquisition and Language Revitalization William O’Grady & Ryoko Hattori, 45

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Language Documentation & Conservation, vol. 9 (2015)

June 2015: 3 new articles and 2 book reviews added to
Volume 9 
available here: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc/?p=603

Greetings from the LD&C team
http://www.nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc/

On Training in Language Documentation and Capacity Building in Papua New Guinea: A Response to Bird et al.
Joseph D. Brooks, pp. 1–9

In a recent article, Bird et al. (2013) discuss a workshop held at the University of Goroka in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2012. The workshop was intended to offer a new methodological framework for language documentation and capacity building that streamlines the documentation process and accelerates the global effort to document endangered languages through machine translation and automated glossing technology developed by computer scientists. As a volunteer staff member at the workshop, in this response to Bird et al. I suggest that it did not in the end provide us with a model that should be replicated in the future. I explain how its failure to uphold fundamental commitments from a documentary linguistic and humanistic perspective can help inform future workshops and large-scale documentary efforts in PNG. Instead of experimenting with technological shortcuts that aim to reduce the role of linguists in language documentation and that construct participants as sources of data, we should implement training workshops geared toward the interests and skills of local participants who are interested in documenting their languages, and focus on building meaningful partnerships with academic institutions in PNG.
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Language Documentation & Conservation, vol. 8 (2014)

Contributions to LD&C are now published upon acceptance. Below are all the contributions accepted for volume 8 (January–December 2014).

In addition to our normal offering of excellent articles, in Volume 8 we have published three sets of themed articles: Language Documentation in the Americas edited by Keren Rice and Bruna Franchetto; The Role of Linguists in Indigenous Community Language Programs in Australia edited by John Henderson; How to Study a Tone Language edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman.

This volume also marks the retirement of our founding editor, Ken Rehg. It was his vision that established LD&C with resources from the NFLRC and University of Hawai’i and it has gone from strength to strength, always with the benefit of his guidance. The editorial team at LD&C wishes him a long and happy retirement

ARTICLES

Using TEI for an Endangered Language Lexical Resource: The Nxaʔamxcín Database-Dictionary Project
Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, Martin D. Holmes, and Sarah M. Kell, pp. 1–37

This paper describes the evolution of a lexical resource project for Nxaʔamxcín, an endangered Salish language, from the project’s inception in the 1990s, based on legacy materials recorded in the 1960s and 1970s, to its current form as an online database that is transformable into various print and web-based formats for varying uses. We illustrate how we are using TEI P5 for data-encoding and archiving and show that TEI is a mature, reliable, flexible standard which is a valuable tool for lexical and morphological markup and for the production of lexical resources. Lexical resource creation, as is the case with language documentation and description more generally, benefits from portability and thus from conformance to standards (Bird and Simons 2003, Thieberger 2011). This paper therefore also discusses standards harmonization, focusing on our attempt to achieve interoperability in format and terminology between our database and standards proposed for LMF, RELISH and GOLD. We show that, while it is possible to achieve interoperability, ultimately it is difficult to do so convincingly, thus raising questions about what conformance to standards means in practice.
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Language Documentation & Conservation, vol. 8 (2014)

Contributions to LD&C are now published upon acceptance. Below are all the contributions accepted for volume 8 (January–December 2014).

ARTICLES

Using TEI for an Endangered Language Lexical Resource: The Nxaʔamxcín Database-Dictionary Project
Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, Martin D. Holmes, and Sarah M. Kell, pp. 1–37

This paper describes the evolution of a lexical resource project for Nxaʔamxcín, an endangered Salish language, from the project’s inception in the 1990s, based on legacy materials recorded in the 1960s and 1970s, to its current form as an online database that is transformable into various print and web-based formats for varying uses. We illustrate how we are using TEI P5 for data-encoding and archiving and show that TEI is a mature, reliable, flexible standard which is a valuable tool for lexical and morphological markup and for the production of lexical resources. Lexical resource creation, as is the case with language documentation and description more generally, benefits from portability and thus from conformance to standards (Bird and Simons 2003, Thieberger 2011). This paper therefore also discusses standards harmonization, focusing on our attempt to achieve interoperability in format and terminology between our database and standards proposed for LMF, RELISH and GOLD. We show that, while it is possible to achieve interoperability, ultimately it is difficult to do so convincingly, thus raising questions about what conformance to standards means in practice.
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Language Documentation & Conservation, vol. 7 (2013)

Contributions to LD&C are now published upon acceptance. Below are all the contributions accepted for volume 7 (January–December 2013).

Articles

The Sociolinguistic Situation of the Manila Bay Chabacano-Speaking Communities
Marivic Lesho and Eeva Sippola, pp. 1–30

This study is an assessment of the vitality of the Manila Bay Chabacano varieties spoken in Cavite City and Ternate, Philippines. These Spanish-lexified creoles have often been described as endangered, but until now there has been no systematic description of how stable the varieties are. The evaluation of the vitality of Manila Bay Chabacano is made based on participant observation and interviews conducted in both communities over the past nine years, using the UNESCO (2003) framework. Comparison between the two varieties shows that the proportional size of the speech community, degree of urbanization, and proximity to Manila account for differences in the vitality of the creoles. In rural Ternate, Chabacano is more stable in terms of intergenerational transmission and the proportion of speakers to the overall community. In the more urban Cavite City, most speakers are of the grandparental generation, but the community is more organized in its language preservation efforts. This study sheds light on two creole varieties in need of further documentation and sociolinguistic description, as well as the status of minority languages in the Philippines. It also offers a critical assessment of a practically-oriented methodological framework and demonstrates its application in the field.
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Language Documentation & Conservation, Special Publication No. 6

LD&C SP06 coverMicrophone in the Mud
By Laura Robinson (with Gary Robinson)

The Journal of Language Documentation & Conservation announces its sixth Special Publication, now available for free download.

In this account of actual fieldwork, a young woman battles armed terrorists, a kidnapper, malaria, a tsunami, and dial-up Internet as she documents the endangered languages of hunter-gatherers in the jungles of the Philippines.

Language Documentation & Conservation, Special Publication No. 5

LDC SP5 coverMelanesian Languages on the Edge of Asia: Challenges for the 21st Century
Edited by Nicholas Evans & Marian Klamer

The Journal of Language Documentation & Conservation announces its fifth Special Publication, now available for free download. As can be seen from the fact that almost every paper in this collection is an early step in a new research path, the study of Melanesia’s languages offers abundant opportunities to make new discoveries. We hope that in the collection of papers gathered here you will find material that invites you into an engaged and diverse international community of scholars dedicated to advancing our understanding of a linguistic territory that is arguably the least charted on earth.