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|Title:||Creating a digital wordlist for Lopit: a case study in time and motion|
|Abstract:||A vast range of techniques and technologies is now available to those working in language documentation. With so many options for the collection, storage and presentation of data, it is essential to find and maintain reproducible approaches that are focused on the accessibility and preservation of language materials, but which are also manageable within the limits of available time and resources. Here, we detail the process of producing a digitised wordlist for Lopit, a Nilo-Saharan language from South Sudan, as a useful case study of the precise resource requirements of what is ostensibly a relatively simple but still important task. The entirety of the process is covered, from the initial planning stages through to the creation of a 200 -item digital wordlist with embedded audio files, in presentation and archival form. We address the motivations for this project, both in terms of the digital wordlist format and the reasons why Lopit was selected, and how these relate to the more general motivations behind language documentation. In terms of the data collection, we explain the selection and composition of the particular wordlist, the procedure of working on this list with Lopit speakers in Melbourne up to, during and after recording sessions, and also give details of the technical considerations for the audio recordings. Our attention then shifts to methods of managing and working with the data, as well as associated hardware and software considerations, before we explain how the final wordlist is produced with embedded audio for presentation and archival form respectively. Throughout the process, our choices are informed by emerging best practices for language documentation, while mindful of the reality of being constrained by limited time and available resources. We also emphasise the need for the materials produced to be accessible and usable by researchers and non-researchers alike. We include some discussion of how materials like digital wordlists may be useful, and the potential directions for future research on Lopit. A combined timeline and tasklist of the process are presented in conjunction with our discussion and recommendations, with the hope that this information will be useful to others in making realistic and best-practice plans for this type of language documentation.|
|Type of Work:||Conference paper|
|Appears in Collections:||Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship|
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