[Discourse Workshop] A set-up for audiovisual language documentation in solar-reliant contexts: Data collection, management, and processing

Event Date: 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • South Hall 4430C
Current technologies - from recording devices to data processing and annotation software - have expanded the sort of language documentation that can be produced. Yet at this point in time, there is no comprehensive or up-to-date resource for current best practices. Arguably, knowledge about how to use technology in different research contexts is overly distributed and dependent on one’s individual network of colleagues. In particular for beginning documenters and especially the less tech-savvy among us, this state of affairs is not very encouraging.
This talk, then, aims to provide a set of practical suggestions for doing audiovisual language documentation with currently available technology. While this talk does take into account diverse types of research contexts, it is geared especially toward solar-reliant contexts, since these present particular challenges that are rarely addressed. In addition to proposing a set-up and drawing attention to available resources, I hope to spark some conversation and interest in improving documentary theory and practice in this general domain,
including how it links to other aspects of fieldwork, in particular community relations.
With those aims in mind, I first address the basic questions of why documenting a lot of audiovisual data of communicative events is a good thing, and how we can go about doing it in a way that is ethically-minded and makes good use of current technology. I then address the interrelated topics of audiovisual data collection, management, and processing. Finally, I discuss the importance of
balancing this sort of documentation-focused approach with other aspects of the research which should cannot be sacrificed for the demands of the documentation.