« Speaking Gamilaraay | Blog home | Random locations of grammars and dictionaries »

business learning training articles new learning business training opportunities finance learning training deposit money learning making training art loan learning training deposits make learning your training home good income learning outcome training issue medicine learning training drugs market learning money training trends self learning roof training repairing market learning training online secure skin learning training tools wedding learning training jewellery newspaper learning for training magazine geo learning training places business learning training design Car learning and training Jips production learning training business ladies learning cosmetics training sector sport learning and training fat burn vat learning insurance training price fitness learning training program furniture learning at training home which learning insurance training firms new learning devoloping training technology healthy learning training nutrition dress learning training up company learning training income insurance learning and training life dream learning training home create learning new training business individual learning loan training form cooking learning training ingredients which learning firms training is good choosing learning most training efficient business comment learning on training goods technology learning training business secret learning of training business company learning training redirects credits learning in training business guide learning for training business cheap learning insurance training tips selling learning training abroad protein learning training diets improve learning your training home security learning training importance

A large corpus of recorded oral tradition can be created using two recording machines, one playing back the spoken texts and the other used to capture an oral annotation. Recording speakers who are commenting on earlier recordings is a method for providing annotations that bypasses literacy.

This method was discussed by Will Reimans at the 1st ICLDC last year, and also in an article to appear in the journal Language Documentation and Conservation later in 2010. Tony Woodbury (2003: 45) suggests that our time as linguists is better spent not interlienarising texts, but instead asking “elders to ‘respeak’ them to a second tape slowly so that anyone with training in hearing the language can make the transcription if they wish.”

BOLD PNG
Recently, Steven Bird launched a project using this method, called BOLD: PNG in which he has provided small digital recorders (100 were donated by Olympus) and training in the method of "Basic Oral Language Documentation" (BOLD) for speakers of a number of PNG languages. These recorders are not ‘best practice’ for recording what may be the first and perhaps only recording of texts in a language. They are easy to use, but record in a proprietary format that needs to be converted and have no external microphone. There is a suggestion that they could provide a vector by which later, higher quality recorders may be available for use by those now experienced in the practice of recording, naming and annotating oral tradition recorded in this way. The BOLD project is asking for expressions of support to help motivate the large team of speakers involved in the work, so, if you feel like contributing, go to their guest-book and drop them a line.

Woodbury, Anthony C. 2003. Defining language documentation. In Peter K. Austin (ed.), Language Documentation and Description 1:35-51. London: SOAS.

Comments

I have undertaken similar efforts with Tlingit recordings that I have a difficult time understanding or deciphering. (I have recordings from one deceased individual with a pronounced stutter and high pressure to speak, so I often need help with him.) What I do is get a running “respeaking” of the original, with a fluent speaker listening to a few seconds of the original and then repeating the phrases. I always give them time to comment on each segment, and also ask questions myself. Most Tlingit speakers are illiterate in their language anyway, so this is a very effective way to work with them.

I disagree however with the argument that our time is not well spent interlinearizing. A linguist could fairly claim this if they are discussing a language with relatively simple morphology. But Tlingit and its Athabaskan relatives have insanely complex morphology, and picking apart the meaning of individual words is an extraordinarily difficult endeavour. Having watched language learners try to do so, it’s apparent that they desperately need the assistance that detailed interlinear glosses can give them.

In addition, if the language in question has a good bit of dialectal diversity, or even if the particular speaker(s) recorded have unusual idiolects, then it’s essential to provide a transcription that clarifies what the speakers are saying versus what the “standard” language would have. This is another issue that easily confounds language learners, and quickly leaves them feeling disheartened and discouraged about recovering their ancestral language.

The role of interlinearized texts is being downplayed by a number of vocal linguists nowadays, claiming that other areas of work are more important. I disagree fundamentally, and feel instead that interlinearizing and translating are essential components of what we do both for our own analytical work and for our services to the language community.

(As an aside, the tiny size of the comment window on this site absolutely sucks.)

Myself and some Babar Islander friends in Indonesia are recording narratives using a Zoom H2, retelling and re-recording in slow mode, and also splicing in LWC free translation breath-group by breathgroup for language learners. Anyway, we use Audacity for the splicing and stuff. I would love it if we could get away from the computer though because it is a big bottle neck to sustainability and growth of the documentation/mobilisation program. So I would like to get some hand held recording devices which can also do these kind of edits on the fly. I am looking at the iPod or iPhone ruinning the FiRe app. Have you guys heard of anyone using this configuration?

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Enter the code shown below before pressing post

The Authors

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.
More

FAQ

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

Links

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

Projects

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