Language Documentation

This programme consists of four courses: Tools for documentation, Introduction to sign linguistics and sign language fieldwork, Creating dictionaries, Documentation and Society.

Timeslot 1: Tools for documentation (9.30 - 11.00)

Amanda Delgado e.a. (Leiden)

We will introduce the basics of the language annotation tool and show how it can be used in language research together with PRAAT and FLEx. ELAN is a tool that allows you to create, edit, visualize and search annotations for video and audio data. It was specifically designed for field linguists carrying out linguistic analysis, allowing them to play media recordings while also creating annotations (e.g. transcriptions, translation, coding etc), but its userbase has extended to conversation analysts, psycholinguists, and many more. In other words, and it can be used by anyone working with video and audio data for the purposes of annotation, analysis and documentation. After this workshop, you will be able to a) synchronize your audio and video files, b) make annotations c) edit your audio and export your data into PRAAT and d) export and import data to FLEx. Bring your laptop and have ELAN, FLEx and PRAAT installed on your devices.
We will also train some other essential tools for language documentation and arrange meetings with experienced users exchanging tips.

1: Overview of workflows (show the practice of individuals); overview of tasks and programs; stress need to garantee mobility of data
2: Arbil, IMDI, Overview of Archives
3: ELAN: an assignment in advance and make sample video and audio files available as well as short instructions; in class stimulate interaction and have several experts to assist.
4. FLEX: same procedure
5. Conversion and transport between programs
6. Recording, how to decide on equipment
7. Praat: same procedure as 4
8. Media files: conversion, cut, organise, (audacity) TEMPGenc
9. Say More, Lexique Pro; other dictionary programs
10. Map making, including using Google Earth

Time slot 2: Introduction to sign linguistics and sign language fieldwork (11.30 - 13.00)

Teachers: Connie de Vos (Nijmegen), Victoria Nyst (Leiden), Nick Palfreyman (Islands)
Organizational support: Lotte Bijloo (Leiden), Felisa Jurado (Leiden)

This course provides a training in linguistic fieldwork on sign languages. The first week of the course will consist of an introduction into sign language fieldwork and exercises with tools for sign language annotation (ELAN, HamNoSys, FACS). The second week will be a hands-on training with a Deaf signer of Chinese Sign Language, with a focus on lexical typology. Since we are looking for funds to arrange for sign language interpretation, please indicate whether you need an interpreter. This course accommodates students with and without a background in sign language linguistics.

Time slot 3: Creating dictionaries (14.00 - 15.30)

Andreas Joswig

A lot of researchers engaging in language documentation intend to publish a dictionary of the subject language. This course will lead the participants through a number of topics that need to be considered on the way to a useful dictionary. A number of lexicographic concepts need to be introduced, such as the difference between entry and sense, or the citation form. The course will also cover the various steps a dictionary maker needs to go through from the early planning phase to the final publication.
To keep things practical, participants are encouraged to try things out using the free dictionary software Fieldworks Language Explorer by SIL International. This software runs on Windows and Linux, but not on Apple computers, except on a Virtual Box. If a participant already comes with language data, this can easily be used. If not, s/he will create an exercise project based on a language s/he knows well. Each participant should also bring along a frequently used dictionary in order to introduce and evaluate it in class based on the ideas discussed during the course.
The following topics will be covered:

Types of Dictionaries
◦     Monolingual
◦     Bilingual
◦     Metalanguage
◦     From Wordlist to Encyclopaedia
Collecting Words
The Headword
◦     Citation Forms
◦     Homonyms
The Structure of a Dictionary
◦     Root-based or stem-based dictionaries
◦     Entry
◦     Sense
◦     Subentries
◦     Minor Entries
Possible Information in a Dictionary
◦     Pronunciation
◦     Spelling
◦     Part of Speech and other Grammar Information
◦     Gloss or Definition?
◦     Examples
◦     Sense relations and Cross-references
◦     Variants and Complex Forms
◦     Usage Information
◦     Etymology

A very useful textbook for this course is Atkins, B.T. Sue and Michael Rundell (2008). The Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography. OUP.

Time slot 4: Documentation and Society (16.00 - 17.30)

This is a series of debates, plenary and in smaller groups, flexible depending on the topic of the day. In these directed debates a number of issues will be dealt with: The specifics and differences of the regions (Europe, North America or Australia, Africa or SE Asia, Latin America, sign language communities) as regards i) ethics, ii) rights and consent, iii) circumstances of revitalisation, iv) involving the community and new media, v) "giving back", vi) activities to show and promote the language.
We intend to present concrete cases for inspiration and critical reflection.