LD&C Special Publication No. 21: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Language Documentation

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    Whole Volume
    (University of Hawai'I Press, 25-Apr-20)
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    Cover
    (University of Hawai'I Press, 25-Apr-20)
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    Front Matter
    (University of Hawai'I Press, 25-Apr-20)
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    Endangered Language Documentation: The challenges of interdisciplinary research in ethnobiology
    (University of Hawai'I Press, 25-Apr-20) Jonathan Amith
    In 2004, three national institutes jointly published Facilitating interdisciplinary research, a report that set standards for evaluating the interdisciplinarity of cross-disciplinary collaborations. Although endangered language documentation (ELD) projects often assemble multidisciplinary teams, the 2004 criteria, today followed by the NSF, create such a high bar for interdisciplinarity that it is probably better to evaluate the cross-disciplinary impact of ELD projects through a different criterion: that of service vs. science. According to this perspective, the cross-disciplinary goal of ELD projects should be to decrease reliance on outside provisioning of services while increasing their contribution to the research goals of external disciplines. This article first suggests that ELD projects should actively promote and evaluate the use project results across disciplines, beginning with greater attention to the archiving process and issues of discoverability and transparency of data. It then explores the potential for the cross-disciplinary impact of ELD ethnobiological research, which has often simply asked taxonomists to identify collected material to species, a service that only marginally benefits biological research agendas. To promote scientific collaboration across disciplines, ELD ethnobiological projects are best designed if they contribute methodologically, substantially, and theoretically to biological research. This article concludes with a description of such an effort.
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    Domain-driven documentation: The case of landscape
    (University of Hawai'I Press, 25-Apr-20) Niclas Burenhult
    It is becoming increasingly evident that the field of language documentation and the documentary multimedia resources it produces rely on expanding their relevance and usability to disciplines beyond linguistics in order to increase their chances of being sustainable in the long term. This paper argues that more attention should be paid to the needs and interests of such disciplines in language documentation schemes. One way of doing so is to set out from fundamental domains of human experience in designing documentation programs, domains which are of immediate concern to disciplines such as geography, biology, history, anthropology, and so on. Particular focus is placed on the domain of landscape, explored in two documentation programs coordinated by the author. In addition to providing clear interdisciplinary arenas of inquiry, such domain-driven approaches also offer excellent opportunities for efficient collection and construction of the comprehensive records of linguistic practices stipulated by current documentation initiatives.