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"Unknown Unknowns" and the Retrieval Problem in Language Documentation and Archiving.

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Title:"Unknown Unknowns" and the Retrieval Problem in Language Documentation and Archiving.
Authors:Holton, Gary
Keywords:archive, unknown unknowns, retrievable data
Date Issued:Dec 2011
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Holton, Gary. 2011. "'Unknown Unknowns' and the Retrieval Problem in Language Documentation and Archiving." Language Documentation & Conservation. 5: 157-168.
Abstract:One of the major motivations driving the field of documentary linguistics is the need to create a lasting record of language that can be (re)used by both speakers and linguists. However, the mere act of language documentation does not guarantee that the products of documentation are accessible. This retrieval problem can result in a false belief that a language has been adequately documented—what I refer to as an unknown unknown. This paper illustrates unknown unknowns with examples drawn from the field of place names documentation, touching briefly on unknown unknowns in other areas of language documentation. The paper concludes with some suggestions as to how to mitigate against the retrieval problem.
Pages/Duration:12 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/4496
ISSN:1934-5275
Rights:Creative Commons, Non-Commercial No Derivatives License
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
by-nc-nd-nsa
Journal:Language Documentation & Conservation
Volume:5
Appears in Collections: Volume 05 : Language Documentation & Conservation


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