Endangered Languages / Endangered Documentation

Classroom Link
Case Studies Link
Work Room Link
Click an image to navigate this site Reading Room Link
Tool Room Link
Ask-an-Expert Link

Endangered Languages / Endangered Documentation

This site promotes best practices in digitizing language data. Computer programs commonly used in field research, such as word processors and spreadsheets, produce files that are often unreadable after only a few years. Physical media like cassette tapes deteriorate even when carefully stored. This site suggests how you might collect, convert and store your data in robust digital formats. The Entrance Hall introduces the importance of best practices in digital language documentation. The Case Studies provide examples of data digitization using the technologies presented in the Classroom. The Reading Room hosts a searchable database of references, and enables users to suggest additional resources. The Work Room enables users to use online tools such as Charwrite, the Terminology Mapper and FIELD to work with their data, and the Tool Room lists various downloadable tools of use to field linguists, and enables users to suggest additional tools. Ask an Expert is a forum through which users may ask our panel of experts about creating and preserving digital language documentation. The site can also be searched, and user comments can be made on Class Room pages.

If you collect or use documentation of endangered languages, this website is for you.

Implementing digital best practices will make language documentation more useful to you, as well as to the scientific and speaker communities. It will also preserve irreplaceable linguistic information for the benefit of future generations.

The E-MELD project has drafted recommendations of best practice in collaboration with other large projects devoted to developing digital infrastructure in linguistics, e.g., the Open Language Archives Community and DOBES. All of the suggestions have been reviewed by the documentary linguists, archivists, and language engineers who have attended the E-MELD summer workshops. Development and refinement of these recommendations is ongoing; and we value your input and comments.

User Contributed Notes
E-MELD School of Best Practice
+ Add a comment
  + View comments

Back to top Credits | Glossary | Help | Navigation | Site Map | Site Search