> Technology - Transient Languages & Cultures
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

Blog home


[ from Peter K. Austin
Linguistics Department, SOAS
21 January 2011

At the recent annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in Pittsburgh Jeff Good of University at Buffalo and I organised a tutorial session (Friday 7th January, 1.5 hours) and poster session (Sunday 9th January, 3 hours) on the topic of metadata in language documentation and description.

The tutorial talks covered general topics such as how to design a metadata system and what it can be used for, what kinds of metadata researchers are collecting, how linguists' metadata relates to that developed by anthropologists and archaeologists, and what information archives need for the best description and preservation of language materials. The poster session presented specific case studies from on-going archiving projects.

Jeff and I are able to bring together field linguists, computational linguists, language archivists, anthropologists, and archaeologists to discuss the issue of metadata from an interdisciplinary perspective. The poster session included presentations of a number of archives of endangered languages materials and displayed their approaches to metadata.

One thing that became clear from the presentations and posters was that early work in language documentation starting around ten years ago was heavily influenced by library concepts (eg. Dublin Core), and that key metadata notions were interoperability, standardisation, discovery, and access (see, eg. OLAC, E-MELD, Farrar & Langendoen 2003 [pdf]). Today, however, we see more focus on expressivity and individuality in metadata descriptions that researchers are creating, and increasing emphasis on protocols, meta-documentation (documentation of the documentation itself), greater clarity on stakeholder rights and responsibilities, and more diverse ways in which researchers are creating and manipulating their metadata. There seems to be plenty of interest in the topic now too -- over 70 people attended the tutorial session and the posters attracted a lot of interest.

The abstracts, talks and posters are available for download here and there are blog posts about the sessions by Laura Welcher (including a subtitled video) and Ryan Dewey.

I recently attended a symposium titled Models for capacity development in language documentation and conservation hosted by ILCAA at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The symposium brought together a group of people involved in supporting language work in the Asia-Pacific region in various ways (see the website for a full list): academic (Institute of Linguistics, Minhsiung, Taiwan, Beijing, China, Goroka, PNG, Batchelor, Australia, Bangkok, Thailand) and community-based (Manokwari, West-Papua; Tshanglalo, Bhutan; Bhasha Research Centre and Adivasi Academy, Gudjarat, India; Miromaa, Australia), using film (Sorosoro, France), or archiving language records (PARADISEC). The aim of the meeting was to build a network that would continue to link between training activities to support language work, the Consortium on Training in Language Documentation and Conservation (CTLDC), whose planning group members are listed here.

1 comments |

The final release of Wunderkammer Import Package 2 is now available for download. Check out the Wunderkammer website for more info.

Thanks to everyone who pointed out bugs and made suggestions for improvement. In this release several bugs have been squished and a bit of input validation and some friendlier error messages have been added.

Work now begins on version 2.1! Keep the bug reports and other comments coming.


The latest version of the Wunderkammer mobile phone dictionary software, Wunderkammer Import Package 2 Beta, is now available for download. The major advance in this distribution is a new easy to use graphical user interface. There's also a new set of documentation to go with the new user interface.

This is a beta release. We invite bug reports and suggestions for improvement on the PFED discussion board or by e-mail at james followed by the at sign pfed dot info.

The Wunderkammer website has also got a new layout and look.

Every time I revisited my fieldsite I was asked for copies of photos or recordings and I wanted some way that these could be accessed without me having to be present. When I started visiting Erakor village in central Vanuatu there was intermittent electricity available, usually only in the evenings in the house I lived in.

3 comments |

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.

2 comments |

Aidan Wilson went up to Pine Creek and Kybrook Farm in the Northern Territory last week to deliver the various versions of the Wagiman electronic dictionary to the Wagiman community. You can read about it at the Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries blog.

Dearest Canberrans,

I'll be giving a presentation of the Wunderkammer mobile phone dictionary software at the ANU in Canberra at 11 am on 18 September. If you're interested and in the area, come by. Full details, including the exact location, can be found here.

From: Peter K. Austin
Department of Linguistics, SOAS
24 August 2009

The Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), based at SOAS, has recently published two new articles on the Endangered Languages Project website that may be of interest to readers of this blog:

  1. Bernard Howard's detailed review of the new Zoom H4n audio recorder. Bernard puts the machine through its paces and concludes his review with the words:
    "Overall, compared to its similar-priced competitors (such as the Edirol R-09HR or Olympus LS-10) the Zoom H4n is our current favourite due to the flexibility of being able to use fully professional microphones via its phantom-powered XLR sockets."

  2. Stuart McGill and Sophie Salffner's ELAR advice document on Power solutions in the field: solar power for laptop computers. Based on their extensive experience with using solar power in Nigeria, they present a practical "how to" guide to setting up a solar power system in the field, and offer advice on how to, and not to, support laptop use in linguistic fieldwork. Readers may also want to look at Tom Honeyman's blog post from 2007 and the links and references in it as well to complement what Stuart and Sophie have presented.

Both publications include lots of images of various sizes and links to relevant web materials. Other ELAR publications are available, including David Nathan's ever popular advice on microphones in sound recording.

Peter K. Austin
Department of Linguistics, SOAS
29th July 2009

At the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute in Berkeley last week (17-19th July) the National Science Foundation sponsored Cyberling 2009, a workshop exploring how computational infrastructure (called "cyberinfrastructure" in the US, and e-Science or e-Humanities in the UK) can support linguistic research in a variety of fields. There was a panel discussion about data sharing that looked at the proposal:

"A cyberinfrastructure for linguistic data would allow unprecedented access [to] the empirical base of our field, but only if we collectively build that empirical base by contributing data. This panel addresses the benefits of data sharing and the obstacles to the widespread adoption of sharing practices, from the perspective of a variety of subfields"

But the bulk of the workshop was given over to closed discussion sessions by seven working groups looking at annotation standards, other standards, new multi-purpose software (so-called "killer apps"), data reliability and provenance, models from other fields, funding sources, and collaboration structure. The group discussions and resulting final day presentations are available on the Cyberling Wiki.

I was co-chair of Working Group 4 that was charged with discussing "protecting data reliability and provenance", i.e. how to keep track of the creation of data and analysis and its passage through the electronic infrastructure as researchers access and use each other's materials. As the Cyberling Wiki says, this is crucial

"for data creators (who need credit for the work they have done and the academic contribution of collecting, curating and annotating data) and the data users (who need to know where the data has come from so they can form an opinion of how much credence to give it and how to give proper credit to the originator of the data)".

We also looked at how to establish a culture of data sharing and what mechanisms might be put in place to encourage people to share data. Clearly, for endangered language research where data are unique and fragile, these are very important issues.

After two and a half days of intense discussions our group came up with a set of proposals relating to data reliability and provenance that can be summarised as follows:

2 comments |

The New York Times has just published an article about the role technology plays in helping to save endangered languages. A few specific projects are mentioned, including some work supported by SOAS and MPI Nijmegen and our own mobile phone dictionary project.


The problem: you have text files and audio files, but the text files are not aligned to the audio files.

I imagine there are a few readers out there who have transcriptions of audio files that never made it past an utterance per line text file. This is a post for you, if you'd like to know how to import and time-align those files in ELAN.

7 comments |

PARADISEC's director Linda Barwick has been raising the alarm for years about the way media are becoming obsolete because the machines to read them are dying.

So it was very sad to hear the death-rattle on the CHILDES list in this message from Brian MacWhinney

Dear Colleagues,
It appears that we are now just about at the end of the rope in terms of our ability to rescue by digitization any data from the 1970s and early 1980s that was recorded using the half-inch reel-to-reel video of that time. The problem is that the machines required to play these tapes are now virtually all non-functional. And there are no "new" units of this type that one can purchase. I have been working with Canaan Media in New Jersey to rescue old audio and video through digitization. The old reel-to-reel audio is not at all a problem and the machines that read these tapes will last still for decades. However, the Sony and Toshiba machines that read the half-inch helical tapes seem to be more sensitive. Canaan Media has three of the Sony AV-3650 machines, but none of them are operational. They have asked me to post a note to info-childes asking if anyone has operational machines like the Sony AV-3650. If so, we would be happy to pay for shipping costs to send these to New Jersey.....

Go to info-childes AT googlegroups.com for more information


Following on from Jane's announcement during the week of all the great news regarding successful grant applications, I have another bit of good news to share: James McElvenny and I recently applied for, and even more recently received, a grant from a philanthropic foundation to support our current work in compiling dictionaries.

3 comments |

[from Ana Kondic at the University of Sydney]

I have just spent eight months doing field work in Mexico where I used a Nagra Aress BB+ (with a Sony ECM-MS 957 Microphone) for audio recording that I borrowed from PARADISEC at Sydney University.

I worked with a highly endangered Mayan language, South Eastern Huastec. It is spoken in the region of La Huasteca, in the municipality of Chontla, in the North of Veracruz, Mexico, where the majority of the population speaks this as their first language, alongside Spanish.

The area of la Huasteca is tropical, with high temperatures and a very high humidity. I chose the "cold" period from October to May, with pleasant months of December and January (about 20 C during the day, and gets to low 5 C or so during the night), but very warm April and May (up to 35 C). The humidity is very high all year, mostly 85-95%.

3 comments |

Peter K. Austin
Department of Linguistics, SOAS
23rd September 2008

Along with the use of mobile phones for fieldwork and dictionaries (noting that the latter wouldn't work (yet) in Africa due to the lack of 3G phones that could run the required software), another information and communication technology that has applications in endangered languages research and language support is radio. In Australia the Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) has been in operation since the1970's and is well known for its promotion of central Australian Aboriginal languages.

I have recently heard of two other more grass roots instances of community radio stations broadcasting in indigenous languages. At a workshop on "Engagement and Activism in Endangered Languages Research", Maurizio Gnerre of Universita Orientale in Naples spoke about the use of radio in two Latin American communities, as his abstract states:

2 comments |

Peter K. Austin
Linguistics Department, SOAS
17th September 2008

The telephone has a deal of history as a device for collecting data on languages. For example, the English language Switchboard Corpus was collected from telephone conversations in 1990-91 and, according to the manual:

"is a corpus of spontaneous conversations ... [c]ollected at Texas Instruments with funding by DARPA, ... [and] includes about 2430 conversations averaging 6 minutes in length; in other terms, over 240 hours of recorded speech, and about 3 million words of text, spoken by over 500 speakers of both sexes from every major dialect of American English"

Quite a number of researchers working on minority and endangered languages have also used phones to make calls from their offices or homes to their consultants in the field to collect data and/or check data and analyses. I recall Frank Wordick, author of The Yindjibarndi language [published 1977 by Pacific Linguistics, C-71 -- for more on Yindjibarndi go here], saying in the mid-1970's that he spent many hours calling his main consultants in Roebourne when he was back in Canberra following fieldwork in order to check aspects of his data. He even suggested he found it easier to distinguish retroflexes on the phone compared to face-to-face.

1 comments |

[ from our roadie, Peter K. Austin, Linguistics Department, SOAS
23rd February 2008

Last week David Nathan and I ran a Language Documentation Workshop at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies at the invitation of Toshihide (“Toshi”) Nakayama, Associate Professor at ILCAA, the Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, and author of Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) Morphosyntax among other publications. The workshop was attended by 18 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from various Japanese universities from Sapporo to Kyoto, most of whom had already done some fieldwork. The attendees were remarkable for several reasons:

  • they all showed an amazing level of commitment to language documentation and fieldwork. Roughly half of them had bought recording equipment (Edirol R-9 was a favourite) with their own money – hard to imagine UK students coughing up the equivalent of 30,000 yen for their own machine. They mostly paid for fieldwork costs themselves;
  • they were working on a wide array of languages, from Alutor (Siberia), to Amdo Tibetan (China) to Bunun (Taiwan) to Dom (Papua New Guinea) to Cherokee (USA), requiring knowledge of contact languages as varied as Russian, Chinese and French (as well as English);
  • many of them endure tough conditions getting to and from the field – one student, for example, works in Siberia and it can take her three weeks to get to her field site. The journey involves three plane trips, and local flights in Russia can only be booked a maximum of three days in advance and are frequently cancelled or rescheduled so for each leg of the journey days of waiting to buy a ticket can be involved;
  • they receive little support and training from their home institutions – almost none had taken a field methods course, and none had received training in research methods, tools or workflows (apart from workshops Toshi has been running recently on software tools like Toolbox). When asked how they selected their field sites, one student told us his professor had said genkisoo ni mieru kara papua nyuuginea ni itte kure “Since you look healthy go to Papua New Guinea” – he went to the University of Papua New Guinea, befriended a student from the highlands and ended up working on his language!
  • they willingly shared samples of their data and analysis with us;
  • they were very interested to learn and fully participated in the course until 6pm each day. Exhausting for us but great for them!


[Our Rome correspondent enters Web 2.0: Peter K. Austin, Endangered Languages Academic Programme, SOAS]

Several contributors to this blog, including yours truly, and no doubt a number of our readers too, have recently been bitten by the Facebook bug. Facebook bills itself as "a social utility that connects you with the people around you", and its kind of fun too. In addition to being able to track what your friends are up to, it is also possible to join groups of like-minded individuals to share ideas, and socialise (reminds me of those sessions in the bar at the end of a hard day's work at a linguistics conference). Along with the predictable groups centered around Noam Chomsky, there is also "You're a Linguist? How many languages do you speak?", "Typologists United", and my particular favourite "Thomas Payne is My Hero" whose members are:

"dedicated to the source of all linguistics knowledge, Thomas Payne. His manuals are so good that they can apply to any discipline at any time. Physics problems? Open the textbook and realize that you should really be a linguistics major. Life? Look up grammatical relations and discover meaning in existence. Linguistics? You better just read the whole thing. Oh Thomas Payne, what would we do without you?"

Facebook is part of what has been termed "Web 2.0" by Tim O'Reilly.

1 comments |

To celebrate the article coauthored with Laura Robinson at Hawai'i just released (which Jane beat me to mentioning first!), here's an article I've had stored up for a while... Note that the LDC article brings together and extends many of the elements discussed in my 3 previous articles from last year (1, 2, 3). In that series I hinted at using a petrol generator as a potential power source. Today I'd like to look some alternative set ups, ranging from the practical to the bizarre.


[Nick Thieberger, PARADISEC, Melbourne University branch, sent in this post after The Puliima National Indigenous Languages Information Communication Technology Forum.]

This forum was held in Newcastle, Australia, 24-26 April 2007, coordinated by the Awarbukarl Cultural Resource Association (ACRA). Subtitled 'Modern ways for ancient words', it was organised by Daryn McKenny and his team (including Dianna Newman and Faith Baisden) who put together two and a half days of presentations on the state of ICT in Indigenous language (IL) programs. The forum had a number of sponsors, testament to Daryn's ability to pull in support from various quarters, including DCITA, Telstra, Microsoft among others.

Representatives of language programs and language centres came from far and wide, including Townsville, Cairns, Port Hedland, Kalgoorlie, Bourke, Adelaide, Nambucca Heads, Sydney, Melbourne, Walgett, the Kimberley and New Zealand. We were given lots of information over the two days that I was there (I missed the last morning) and I'll try to summarise it here. Apologies to anyone I've left out.

4 comments |

My nightmare with Windows is finally over.
Yay! Crossover! It rules!
Late last year my G4 ibook came to a premature demise, probably a victim of all the dust and the ruts on the road to Wadeye from Daly River, which I did enough times to make me and my car age. Can't have done the laptop much good.
So I bought an Intel mac thinking 'great now I can run Toolbox'. I really wasted a lot of time. I didn't lose any data. But when I discovered what Windows was going to cost me, plus the emulator Parallels, in order to run Windows, it was the best part of A$300. I also spent a lot of time, trying just about anything to avoid paying for Windows after forking out for a new computer (for the second time in my PhD candidature). All that just to run Toolbox which is a freely downloadable application.

2 comments |

I bought myself a new digital SLR camera for Christmas, and it revived in me a love for photography. Back in my teenage years I had an Olympus OM-1 - the classic journalism camera of the seventies. I'd run around shooting everything and then come back home to process the film. Fortunately my school had a great darkroom set up... although, it sucked up a lot of time I should have spent on other things.

Its great to have full control of the image again, and I'm not feeling too nostalgic about the darkroom side of things (although that was half the fun!). Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras give you a lot of control over your image, but there are several things that you need to know to get started. But even if you're not into the raw technicalities, you can take good photos with a point and shoot camera.

1 comments |


15 Jan

Just spotted this nifty cross-platform (if your platform isn't linux...) app via makezine and had a go.



Dear ELAN Workshop attendees, and anyone who might find this of interest,

There were a few loose ends left at the end of the ELAN workshop last week. I'd particularly like to address one, the question as to whether we should aim for a standard set of ELAN templates which everyone uses.

5 comments |

I wandered into the office today to see Jane and Mark with a large map of part of the northern territory rolled out on the floor, discussing the issue of iso-glosses, and boundaries. Maps maps maps. They're just everywhere at the moment!


Our December conference is almost full, so if you were thinking of coming along, now is the time to register! The preliminary schedule is up, papers have been reviewed, everything is going along nicely (touch wood).

The third day of the conference is a workshop, with sections on audio and video recording, transcribing and managing your data, and producing outputs from this data. If this is more your thing you can come to just that. If you're interested in ELAN for transcribing or shoebox/toolbox, I thoroughly recommend it, but there'll be plenty of other useful stuff.

Here are some instructions to build your own video stabiliser (via Make). Its a copy of a much more expensive commercial version, designed to reduce shake in your video recordings. Of course, its not really going to help you be inconspicuous during your recordings...

In Central Australia, you often see Aboriginal people sitting on the ground, talking, and simultaneously drawing on the sand, smoothing it over when they've finished a point, and starting again. They might be recounting places along a journey, listing family members, drawing maps, or describing the movement of characters in a story. I'll call this 'sand talk'.

1 comments |

The preliminary schedule for the conference "Sustainable data from digital fieldwork: from creation to archive and back" is now up. There looks to be some really interesting projects on display. I had a sneak peek at EOPAS, a project to create a workflow and display interlinearised texts, and annodex, a project to display multiple streams of visual, audio and textual data, both of which look great. I'll also be talking about the FieldHelper tool I've been working on this year, a tool to add in the tagging of arbitrary metadata to field work data, amongst other things.

Our registration quota of 40 places is fast filling up. Please register now if you wish to come, also note that you can choose to come to the third day workshop if your interest in more in practical experience with current digital field work tools.


RNLD in collaboration with the conference "Sustainable data from fieldwork" is offering a day-long session on the creation, organisation, annotation and display of digital media. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in making digital recordings and annotating them. If you're new to shoebox or ELAN and have any questions about using it, and you have your own data, then bring along your laptop. The workshop will be held at Sydney University on Wednesday, December 6, 2006.

Read on for the specifics


Here is a technological update to my previous posting on recording conversation.
I consider myself very privileged to be able to visit the Department of Linguistics at UCSB, where I have been lucky enough to audit a number of courses, including Jack Du Bois’ course on discourse transcription. Today we were introduced to a very nice piece of equipment, the Edirol R-09 ultra-portable flash ram recorder. This piece of equipment is about the same dimensions as an i-pod, although a bit fatter.

2 comments |

Registration for the Human Communication Sciences Network SummerFest06 (Nov 27th - Dec 1st) opens today. There looks to be an interesting line up of courses. I'm hoping I can head along to the courses on Bayesian Networks and Markov Models and Statistics for Linguistics amongst others.

I heard that Trevor Johnston's course on sign languages was excellent. I'll definitely be going along to that one.

And... OK so this is a shameless plug: I hope Introduction to Fieldwork Methods will be fun ;-)

There's an interesting post on slashdot today, on a product that will geo-tag your photos. Geo-tagging a photo means recording some geographic information at the time you take your photo, typically the longitude and latitude.

At first glance I thought it might be another on of these data-loggers, but actually, with a minor addition, it's a pretty nifty bit of hardware.


(Following a previous post and a reply from Claire at Anggarrgoon)

Is it possible to reduce the intrusiveness of video taping someone?

Before I launch into this... let me just say: "flashing lights and ethical alarm bells!". What I'm going to talk about is the paradox of fully informing your informants that you're going film them, and then trying your hardest to seem like you're not there!

2 comments |

I've just been travelling in northern Australia with postgrad student Isabel Bickerdike recording songs for our Rausing-funded Western Arnhem Land song project. Conditions ranged from windy through very windy right up to very very windy and boy was I glad I'd invested in a Rycote windshield system! Even though the mike was actually blown over by the wind a couple of times (fortunately between songs rather than during one), with the aid of PARADISEC's trusty Nagra V hard disk recorder and a Rode NT4 stereo condenser microphone, we came away with 89 nicely recorded song items (from four different song-sets). OK, this is a pricey setup, but there are cheaper ways to achieve good results (Rycote even have a windjammer for lapel mike) and I'd encourage anyone likely to be recording outdoors in windy conditions to consider building decent wind protection into the budget. It's a small investment when you consider the overall costs of the field trip, and the results will be so much nicer to listen to and work on.


Jane's last post and a post on the ever excellent Language Log have got me thinking about permanence and accountability in the internet age. Its a theme that I encounter again and again, working for a digital archive.

3 comments |

An RSS feed is forever.. that's what I forgot in the Technorati post (now deleted) - in my desire to avoid Technorati's quick blog registration (which requires sending a valuable password into the Technorati ether, perhaps forever...). Sorry all! (And boy have we paid for it with streams of junk comments from strip poker sites!).

1 comments |

In the last post in this series we figured out how much power we'd need. Now the really important part - we choose our panel and battery and stick it all together.

2 comments |

I'm sure we've all done it from time to time: somehow, despite carefully trying to do something else altogether, we delete a critical and unique recording on our flash recorder... never to be heard again.

But all is not lost, in fact its often really quite simple to get it back... but only if you've taken the necessary precautions.

1 comments |

"Digital" Video

25 Aug

Researchers are increasingly using video in their fieldwork. Starting with cheap analogue formats and now digital formats, it is easy and affordable to begin video-taping everything... In the same way that we can now record audio for everything.

...Well, actually I'm not quite convinced yet.

7 comments |

Many academic disciplines depend on analysis of primary data captured during fieldwork. Increasingly, researchers today are using digital methods for the whole life cycle of their primary data, from capture to organisation, submission to a repository or archive, and later access and dissemination in publications, teaching resources and conference presentations. This conference and workshop will showcase a number of projects that have been developing innovative and sustainable ways of managing such data.

1 comments |

OK, we've got together all the equipment that we want to use. Now we need to estimate the power consumption of these devices so that we purchase the right size of solar panel and battery. This also applies to portable generators too, which can be a good source of power...if its an option.


Our sister blogger (perhaps 'aunt' since she's been blogging much longer!) Claire Bowern has started to post sections of her draft manual on fieldwork on her blog. First off are some gripping posts on those inevitable initial questions: "What recording equipment should I get?" The answers change each year - but the categories Claire uses to classify equipment are relevant at any time: fidelity, unobtrusiveness, power type and demand, portability, durability, archivability of recordings, and expense of machine and medium. Check out her summary and earlier posts.


I don't know how many parts this will be all together, but writing up a guide to getting a solar power kit together is something I've been meaning to do for a while.

In today's instalment, we'll be looking at how to prepare for a trip.


Fancy going to Port Hedland in the Pilbara to discuss Australian languages in early September this year? A flyer arrived from FATSIL (Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages) asking for us to spread the word on their conference and Annual General Meeting. I can't see anything about it on their website, so download the flyer if you want registration forms and membership forms. A summary follows.


Thanks to Linda and Frank for a very interesting workshop last Friday. I picked up some great tricks on using transcriber and audacity. Perhaps the best trick I learnt was how to remove cicada noise from my PNG recordings.

Maybe you already knew how to do this (or maybe you just fiddle with the EQ), but I always thought this was in the realm of Hollywood fantasy (like when the forensics guy magically "enhances" a grainy image to reveal the killer's face in a thriller). Removing the noise allows me to more easily transcribe a busy recording, and seeing as insect noise was pretty constant and loud through all my recordings, this is quite handy. There are some caveats, but here's how to do this using freely available, cross platform software.

5 comments |

Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures / Sydney Humanities and Social Sciences e-Research Initiative Workshop

Presenters: Dr Linda Barwick, Director, PARADISEC and Frank Davey, Audio Preservation Officer, PARADISEC.
A free workshop covering: the range of research applications for recording and analysis of digital audiovisual media; questions of sustainability and archiving of audiovisual data; tools and resources for archiving, analysis and presentation of digital audio; the role of recordings in humanities disciplines; and using audio recordings in presentations and teaching. Includes hands-on sessions using Audacity sound editing software and Transcriber speech annotation software.


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.


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