Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

LingSync: web-based software for language documentation

File SizeFormat 
25312.mp359.36 MBMP3View/Open
25312.pdf3.07 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Item Summary

Title: LingSync: web-based software for language documentation
Issue Date: 12 Mar 2015
Description: LingSync is a suite of open source web-based tools that facilitate a) collaborative linguistic fieldwork and language documentation and b) theoretical analysis and revitalization efforts. It enables and entices fieldworkers and documenters with diverse goals to work together to mutual advantage.

Linguistic fieldwork and language documentation are the foundation that sustains theoretical linguistics and language revitalization. While academics, educators, and language activists may spend considerable time and energy in documenting endangered languages, the fruits of these labours are largely inaccessible. In the context of endangered languages, missed opportunities for data-sharing and collaboration are particularly problematic.

LingSync strives to improve this state of affairs, primarily by building the infrastructure necessary for fieldworkers and documenters to collaborate and reuse one another’s data ethically and efficiently. LingSync is a set of web services and cross-platform user interfaces that facilitate the creation of multi-authored corpora that are searchable, accessible, consistent, and richly annotated.

LingSync advances the state of the art in fieldwork and documentation methodology by virtue of the following: (i) its application programming interfaces (APIs) facilitate the repurposing of data; (ii) its browser-based graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are user-friendly and function across all major platforms; (iii) its import/export features allow for interoperability with other tools and representations; (iv) its advanced and domain-relevant search interfaces allow for timely retrieval of relevant data and discovery of novel patterns; (v) its inventory-based input validation, orthography conversion, and morpho-lexical cross-referencing features promote representational consistency; (vi) its authentication, authorization, and encryption features allow for conscientious and highly configurable control over data access; (vii) its audio/video integration and attendant feature set assist in the parsing and alignment of audio and textual representations; and, finally, (vii) its morpho-phonological model implementation features allow for the empirical testing of grammatical components and the creation of analyzers to automate and expedite various data-creation tasks.

The presentation will review three examples of how this software has been used for pedagogy, theory building, and revitalization: a collaborative research project on Blackfoot (Algonquian, Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA), another on Mi'gmaq (Algonquian, Quebec, Canada) conducted by the Mi'gmaq Research Partnership, and a third involving the construction of a Chuj (Mayan) database. Collectively, these case studies evince the benefits of LingSync in the following respects: the computational implementation of theoretical analyses, the advancement of academic research, the creation of second-language teaching materials, and the building of substantial databases on under-documented languages, even by relatively inexperienced student fieldworkers.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

Items in ScholarSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.