Transcription and Elicitation Priorities

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What is Important to Elicit and Transcribe?

Documentary methodology is outside the domain of E-MELD. However, one working group on annotation during the E-MELD Workshop 2003 consisted of a number of prominent field linguists who made suggestions about priorities in the field. We present the suggestions here for your perusal.

The first priority in language documentation is translation. The second priority is transcription. From a transcription, linguists can make inferences about language structure that may lead to other forms of annotation, and eventually to full documentation.

Transcription and elicitation priorities differ from situation to situation and often are dependent on the amount of time allotted. The following is a list of recommended language documentation priorities collected from E-MELD Advisors Johanna Nichols, Baden Hughes, Jeff Good and Heidi Johnson:

Overarching requirement: Work out the phoneme system and make sure to get an accurate transcription, both phonetic and phonemic. Also, if at all possible, get at least one audio recording.



The content of this page was developed following the recommendations of the E-MELD Advisors

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