Language and Culture Documentation Workshop—June 2014

Documentation preserves language and culture data in support of linguistic vitality, cultural identity and stewardship of heritage resources.

(April 2014) Registration is now open for the Language and Culture Documentation Workshop which will be held 2-13 June at the International Linguistics Center in Dallas, Texas. Individuals with backgrounds in linguistics, anthropology or related disciplines are invited to attend this intensive, hands on workshop.

The workshop’s purpose is to equip participants to plan, execute and archive a documentary corpus according to current best practices. The focus is not merely learning about Language and Culture Documentation (LCD), but also to provide practice in using LCD methods and equipment. The four lead instructors of the workshop are co-authors of A Language and Culture Documentation Manual (soon to be published) which will serve as a guide for the workshop. Several invited guests will provide lectures on topics in oral storying, world arts and ethnobotany.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Language documentation
  • Language endangerment
  • Language revitalization
  • Informed consent for research activities
  • Planning a complete corpus
  • Written transcription in a corpus
  • Archiving a documentary corpus
  • Basic Oral Language Documentation (BOLD)
  • Techniques for collecting oral stories
  • Culture documentation defined, with examples
  • Ethnomusicology and arts
  • Ethnobotany
  • Research and funding for LCD
  • Writing a documentation prospectus
  • Audio recording fundamentals and practice
  • Video recording fundamentals and practice
  • Introductions to software useful for LCD, such as SayMore and Audacity
  • Personal growth plans for participants based on this workshop and previous experience

Lead Instructors:

Brenda H. Boerger, PhD, Workshop Director, serves as SIL International’s Special Consultant for Language and Culture Documentation. Prior to her current role, she worked in the Natügu [ntu] language project in the Solomon Islands for more than twenty years, and received a DEL Fellowship in 2010 to work on a grammar of Natügu, which is on-going. Dr. Boerger co-instructs the language documentation course at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL).

D. Will Reiman, MA, conducted the first field trials of Basic Oral Language Documentation (BOLD) among the Kasanga [ccj] of Guinea Bissau in 2008. He has many years of experience in and has led teams of students to make documentary recordings using BOLD. Reiman has led and assisted with BOLD training workshops at Atma Jaya University in Indonesia, and in Ruiru, Kenya, and has co-taught the language documentation course at GIAL for the past six years.

Sarah R. Moeller, MA, is a GIAL researcher and curriculum developer in language documentation. She has been Assistant Instructor for GIAL’s language documentation course. By June 2014 she will have completed one year of field research in the Caucasus Mountains, focusing on best practices for archiving.  

Stephen N. Self has three MAs, the most recent in Applied Linguistics with a focus on descriptive linguistics. He will start a PhD program specializing in Language Documentation in Fall 2014. He is the originator and main contributor for The Language Documentation Crowd.

Registration and fees:

Registration is $400 USD for the two-week workshop. This covers the cost of course materials, facilities charges, shared equipment use, breakfast and evening meals.

Note: housing and daily lunches are not included but can be arranged through the Guest House of the International Linguistics Center. Double-occupancy rooms reserved for workshop participants are available on a first-paid, first-served basis.

Click here for registration, housing and additional details.

Related events

LCD Workshop participants may also wish to consider attending the Arts for a Better Future or CoLang 2014 workshops.

Related links