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SayMore: Language documentation productivity

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Item Summary

Title: SayMore: Language documentation productivity
Issue Date: 28 Feb 2013
Description: Language Documenters quickly amass a large number of original recordings and artifacts based on them. We need to manage recordings, document informed consent, transcribe, translate, enter metadata, convert file formats, and, finally, submit to a digital archive. Along the way, we need to keep all these files well-organized and labeled. And we must keep track of the goals of the project in order to emerge with the desired coverage in areas such as genre, spontaneity, and the social roles of the speaker. We have powerful software for parts of this workflow, including Arbil, Elan, and EXMARaLDA. However, many of these tools appear best-suited for rather computer-savvy linguists, or those who can attend training courses. Recent linguistic software including WeSay (Albright and Author 2007) and FOLKER (Schmidt and Schütte 2010) have demonstrated that we can involve a wider spectrum of participants by using software with a task-focused interface that prioritizes clarity and efficiency over flexibility. In compensation, such software needs to emit data files that can be opened in more complex/powerful applications for further work. This paper presents SayMore (, a new software tool that streamlines the collection and annotations of recordings. Currently, SayMore eases the collecting of media files from a recording device, the addition of metadata, transcription, and, perhaps uniquely, oral annotation (respeaking and translation). All time-aligned data is stored in ELAN XML format, so that projects needing to go beyond SayMore’s built-in annotation capability can do so easily. For interlinearization, SayMore can export to FLEx, Toolbox, and other formats. For sharing with the community, SayMore produces subtitled videos. For archiving, it has built-in capability to convert file formats to those appropriate for long-term accessibility. Finally, the paper describes how SayMore helps researchers monitor progress towards project goals along several axes, including genre, spontaneity, and which workflow steps have been completed.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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