A scalable method for preserving oral literature from small languages

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedings

Abstract

Can the speakers of small languages, which may be remote, unwritten, and endangered, be trained to create an archival record of their oral literature, with only limited external support? This paper describes the model of "Basic Oral Language Documentation", as adapted for use in remote village locations, far from digital archives but close to endangered languages and cultures. Speakers of a small Papuan language were trained and observed during a six week period. Linguistic performances were collected using digital voice recorders. Careful speech versions of selected items, together with spontaneous oral translations into a language of wider communication, were also recorded and curated. A smaller selection was transcribed. This paper describes the method, and shows how it is able to address linguistic, technological and sociological obstacles, and how it can be used to collect a sizeable corpus. We conclude that Basic Oral Language Documentation is a promising technique for expediting the task of preserving endangered linguistic heritage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRole of Digital Libraries in a Time of Global Change - 12th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries, ICADL 2010, Proceedings
EditorsGobinda Chowdhury, Chris Koo, Jane Hunter
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages5-14
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)3642136532, 9783642136535
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries, ICADL 2010 - Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Duration: 21 Jun 201025 Jun 2010

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6102 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference12th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries, ICADL 2010
CountryAustralia
CityGold Coast, QLD
Period21/06/1025/06/10

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