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On Training in Language Documentation and Capacity Building in Papua New Guinea: A Response to Bird et al.

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Title: On Training in Language Documentation and Capacity Building in Papua New Guinea: A Response to Bird et al.
Authors: Brooks, Joseph D.
Keywords: language documentation
Papua New Guinea
language workshop
capacity building
fieldwork ethics
Issue Date: Mar 2015
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Brooks, Joseph D. 2015. On Training in Language Documentation and Capacity Building in Papua New Guinea: A Response to Bird et al. Language Documentation & Conservation 9. 1-9
Abstract: In a recent article, Bird et al. (2013) discuss a workshop held at the University of Goroka in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2012. The workshop was intended to offer a new methodological framework for language documentation and capacity building that streamlines the documentation process and accelerates the global effort to document endangered languages through machine translation and automated glossing technology developed by computer scientists. As a volunteer staff member at the workshop, in this response to Bird et al. I suggest that it did not in the end provide us with a model that should be replicated in the future. I explain how its failure to uphold fundamental commitments from a documentary linguistic and humanistic perspective can help inform future workshops and large-scale documentary efforts in PNG. Instead of experimenting with technological shortcuts that aim to reduce the role of linguists in language documentation and that construct participants as sources of data, we should implement training workshops geared toward the interests and skills of local participants who are interested in documenting their languages, and focus on building meaningful partnerships with academic institutions in PNG.
Sponsor: National Foreign Language Resource Center
Pages/Duration: 9
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24629
ISSN: 1934-5275
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:Volume 09 : Language Documentation & Conservation



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