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I got inspired to preen our blogroll, by following up blogrolls on other linguistics blogs (notably Language Log). This meant hours of pleasure going through musings, dead blogs, frozen blogs, (very!) personal blogs, e-learning blogs exhorting us to use blogs in teaching, e-learning blogs exhorting not to use them, pictures of cats, gardens, parrots, business blogs, meta-blogs..

The results?

1. Östen Dahl needs to update How to avoid graduation to mention blogging..

2. There's a lot of good stuff on blogs. Many blogs focus on English - and there don't seem to be many public blogs on endangered languages and cultures apart from those already on our blogroll (or maybe it's that I just didn't read enough non-English blogs). But I have added some blogs which give a lot of linguistics news including on endangered languages, including LingNews, Jabal al-Lughat, Language Hat, LingFormant and Omniglot.

3. I'm not sure if people archive the good stuff on blogs other than on the web. Here is a spectacular demonstration both of the usefulness of blogging and for the need to put your thesis in an electronic archive:

Nicola Nassira's blog
May. 2nd, 2006
I know a few of you read my thesis when I posted it about a year ago (yeesh, has it been that long?). The problem now is that I rather stupidly put it up on Harvard webspace, to which I no longer have access (since I'm no longer a Harvard student), and I don't have a copy of the final draft on any non-crashed computer. And a friend/mentor/former boss has asked to read it.

4. A lot of blogs have died... and there are more or less poetic ways to do so:

The discouraging word
Posted Sunday, December 4, 2005
We're finished. Farewell.

Enigmatic mermaid
Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Language legend
how to die
Thursday, January 19, 2006
E-Julie has left the building
So, this post is going to be a bit different to the rest, cos in this one you get to watch live as E-Julie disappears into the far horizon.

Saturday, August 21, 2004
The End
The adventure of Redmat stops here.

5. Some have just gone with the Boojum
Kitten of doom
Les coups de langue de la grande rousse

6. Some are frozen (with pictures of ice to prove it). But their archives are still a reminder of former liveliness. The saddest such snap freezing - and of relevance to TLAC readers- is Namu Pa'i 'Ai News and Linguistic Sketches on Hawai'i Creole English and Other Pidgins and Creoles
The last post reads:
Monday, January 24, 2005
If You Build It, They Will Come
I would like to thank Semantic Compositions and Language Hat for spreading the word about this weblog. It is rather remarkable how quickly it has appeared on the proverbial "map". Not a bad start for a first week.

7. Finally, for other blogroll preeners, here are a list of other frozen language and linguistics blogs (i.e. not updated since 2005 or early 2006):
Ablaut Time
bLing Blog
Cafe Mo
Canny Linguist
Grammar catastrophes
Jens Weblog
The Language Feed
Language development
Meaning and Thinking
Minimal pears
The omnivorous linguist
Uncle Jazzbeau’s Gallimaufrey
We Are Free Morphemes


Archiving of information from blogs is always a problem. Indeed shifting information out of blog software can be a problem.

Formatting and file types is generally such an issue that the Gutenberg Project have stuck to the simple text file for that very reason.

You might like to consider saving important blog posts somewhere else. I personally use Writely as it allows me to post to my blogging software straight from their editor. Desktop blog editing tools that do the same thing are available, often free.

Even saving your old files in Word can be a problem, Microsoft do not guarantee that newer version of Word can read your old files, indeed already exceptionally early version files are unreadable by the latest Word. If you do find yourself with this problem then you often find that other software does a better job of it than Word - for example the Mac does a sterling job of opening almost all versions of Word. You can assist the process by making sure that you turn off the "Fast Save" option in Word.

As for saving files in University spaces that then become unreachable when you leave, that's becoming a more common problem for students. The importance of backups can once again be stressed here. Earlier this was a constant problem but now that almost every computer comes with at least a CD writer IT support staff are becoming less and less patient with people who have only one copy of a file on a dead computer. Please everyone, backup.

An extra complication with archiving of a blog (mentioned to me yesterday by an IT person) is the copyright on the Comments. Getting permission from each commenter doesn't sound feasible -- especially from {pseudo,ano}nymous ones.

Yeah, I had a horrible time getting things off Rice's blogging server, and it was supposed to be friendly. I eventually just saved the web pages as plain html to archive the online field diary. I now use "Live Writer" when I remember to. Wordpress is working on an export posts option, I hear.

For comments, couldn't you put a note on the blog that any comments become the property of the blog author and may be archived, deleted, etc etc, unless explicit refusal is given?

That idea about listing what the blog authors can do with the comments is a good one. One problem is that blog software often restricts what you can add where - over to the Administrator!

Logomacy is back up, fwiw. At least until I get too busy or run out of things to say again.

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About the Blog

The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.


Papua New Guinea FAQs from Eva Lindstrom Papua New Guinea (New Ireland): Eva Lindstrom's tips for fieldworkers

Australian Languages Answers to some frequently asked questions about Australian languages

Papua Web Information network on Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya)

Hibernating blogs

Indigenous Language SPEAK

Langguj gel Australian linguistics and fieldwork blog

Interesting Blogs

Omniglot Writing systems and languages of the world

LingFormant Linguistics news

Language hat Linguistics news and commentary

Jabal al-Lughat Linguistics news and commentary on a range of languages

Living languages Blog with news items and discussion of endangered languages

OzPapersOnline Notices of recent work on the Indigenous languages of Australia

That Munanga linguist Community linguist blog

Anggarrgoon Claire Bowern's linguistics and fieldwork blog

Savage Minds A group blog on Anthropology

Fully (sic)

Language on the Move Intercultural communication and multilingualism

Talking Alaska: Reflections on the native languages of Alaska

Culture matters: applying anthropology Australian anthropology blog: postgraduates and staff

Long Road ethnography and anthropology blog - including about Australia

matjjin-nehen Blog on Australian linguistics, fieldwork, politics and the environment.

Language Log Group blog on language and linguistics


E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources a worldwide network of organizations, academics, activists, indigenous groups, and others representing indigenous and tribal peoples

Technorati Profile

Technology-enhanced language revitalization Include ILAT (Indigenous Languages and Technology) discussion list.

Endangered languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia

Koryak Net Information on the people of Kamchatka

Linguistic fieldwork preparation: a guide for field linguists syllabi, funding, technology, ethics, readings, bibliography

On-line resources for endangered languages

Papua New Guinea Language Resources Phonologies, grammars, dictionaries, literacy, language maps for many PNG languages

Resource network for linguistic diversity Networking practitioners working to record,retrieve & reintroduce endangered languages


ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text