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Oral Literature in the Digital Age

Mark Turin
Claire Wheeler
Eleanor Wilkinson

I. Principles and Methods of Archiving and Conservation

2. Access and Accessibility at ELAR, a Social Networking Archive for Endangered Languages Documentation

David Nathan

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Extrait du texte

Discovering language documentation1

Language documentation, also known as documentary linguistics, is a subfield of linguistics that emerged in the 1990s as a response to predictions that the majority of human languages will disappear within a century (Krauss 1992). The discipline aims to develop «”methods, tools, and theoretical underpinnings for compiling a representative and lasting multipurpose record of a natural language»” (Gippert et al 2006: v). It weaves its focus on endangered languages together with traditional descriptive linguistics and a strong emphasis on the use of media and information technologies. It also encourages ethical practices such as involving language speakers as participants and beneficiaries (Grinevald 2003). Its central features are:2

  • Focus on primary data: documentation is based around collecting and analysing a range of primary language data
  • Interdisciplinarity: documentation requires expertise from a range of disciplines, not just linguists. Its data s...