Conference Proceedings

A Scalable Method for Preserving Oral Literature from Small Languages

Steven Bird, G Chowdhury, C Koo, J Hunter

ROLE OF DIGITAL LIBRARIES IN A TIME OF GLOBAL CHANGE | SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN | Published : 2010

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 s..

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