Veronica Grondona, Eastern Michigan University &
Laura Buszard-Welcher, EMELD / LinguistList

Implementing Best Practice with Legacy Materials

In this demonstration, we present two case studies that show the process of creating a best practice language archive from different kinds of legacy material. Each case study will focus on a particular endangered language that has been the subject of our field research. The first case study is of Mocovi, a Guaycuruan language of Northern Argentina that has about 4000-7000 speakers. Dr. Grondona's field data on Mocovi consists of audio and video recordings, along with lexical and textual material stored in Shoebox. The second case study is Potawatomi, a Central Algonquian language spoken in the midwestern United States and adjacent Canada that has about 25 fluent speakers. Dr. Buszard-Welcher's field data on Potawatomi includes texts stored in Shoebox and a lexicon stored in a FileMaker Pro database. Both the Mocovi and Potawatomi lexical files have now been converted to a FIELD database (Field Input Environment for Linguistic Data), and are searchable though the School of Best Practice. We will discuss the challenges our FIELD team encountered in the process of data conversion, including those posed by data stored in proprietary programs and non-unicode fonts. We will also discuss the impact of this new format on our research practice and the communities of speakers with whom we work.