Chapter 10. WeSay, a Tool for Engaging Communities in Dictionary Building

Albright, Eric
Hatton, John
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This chapter introduces WeSay, an open source software application designed to involve language community members in the description and documentation of their language. Intended for rugged, low- power hardware, WeSay's simplified user interface removes many barriers that typically prevent the direct involvement of community members. In this chapter, we describe the dictionary-building features of WeSay that allow a linguist to tailor a sequence of language documentation tasks to engage community members. These tasks reduce a production step to its simplest form, enabling focused training and division of labor. Word gathering tasks use semantic domains, word lists, or patterns of likely words to build up the dictionary. Successive tasks add specific content, such as glosses and example sentences, to the entries. In addition, the program can prepare simple paper publications designed to promote community support for the effort and can transfer the raw data to the linguist for further processing with tools that are more powerful.
WeSay, dictionary building
Albright, Eric and John Hatton. 2007. Chapter 10. WeSay, a Tool for Engaging Communities in Dictionary Building. In D. Victoria Rau and Margaret Florey (eds). 2007. Documenting and Revitalizing Austronesian Languages. 189-201. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
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