Language archives: They’re not just for linguists any more

Holton, Gary
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University of Hawai'i Press
While many language archives were originally conceived for the purpose of preserving linguistic data, these data have the potential to inform knowledge beyond the narrow field of linguistics. Today language archives are being used by people without formal linguistic training for purposes not necessarily envisioned by the original creators of the language documentation. The DoBeS Archive is particularly well-placed to become an important resource for cultural documentation, since many of the DoBeS projects have been interdisciplinary in nature, documenting language within its broader social and cultural context. In this paper I present a perspective from a legacy archive created well before the modern era of digital language documentation exemplified by the DoBeS program. In particular, I describe two types of non-linguistic uses which are becoming increasingly important at the Alaska Native Language Archive.
Holton, Gary. 2012. Language archives: They’re not just for linguists any more. In Frank Seifart, Geoffrey Haig, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, Dagmar Jung, Anna Margetts, and Paul Trilsbeek (eds). 2012. Potentials of Language Documentation: Methods, Analyses, and Utilization. 111-117. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
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