Recording Aboriginal conversation with video

In 2006 Tom Honeyman began an e-thread on the benefits of and complications relating to using digital video to record natural conversation in a fieldwork setting (see also here, here and here and here). For several years I have been trying to record conversation without actually being present to monitor the recordings. It can be … Read more

The Endangered Languages Archive at SOAS: developing and sharing language materials through archiving

The Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) was established at SOAS in January 2004, with the first deposits accepted in late 2005. Our initial priority was on preservation but recently the ELAR public catalogue was released and it will soon extend to providing access to materials (where permissions allow). To date, ELAR has received over 50 deposits … Read more

Read all about it

Due to the hard work of Mike Franjieh who is doing a PhD on a language of Ambrym, Vanuatu, the Endangered Languages Project at SOAS now has an on-line catalogue of the more than 300 books and journals we have acquired over the past few years. The materials in our collection come from several sources, … Read more

Cold dead media

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 … Read more

On technology training in the speaker community – Andrea L. Berez

[From Andrea L. Berez, University of California, Santa Barbara] A few weeks ago in Uppsala, Nick Thieberger and I gave a talk on the need for digital standards and training in language documentation. During the Q-and-A, a distinguished member of the audience asked us, “How do you suggest we go about making communities do all … Read more

2000 Hours

Early this morning, a delivery of audio files was quietly sent from Paradisec’s local server at the University of Sydney to permanent near-line tape storage at the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing in Canberra. This happens on many days, as you might imagine, but what makes today’s delivery special, was that somewhere in that bunch … Read more

Fluency in revival situations – John Giacon

[From John Giacon] As noted in the blog post on John Hobson’s lecture, the Koori Centre has been one of a number of forces which have pioneered major developments in Indigenous Language education in NSW and other parts of Australia. I want to comment on two sentences in the review: ‘Indigenous children need qualified teachers … Read more

“Digital” Video

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.