A multimedia database for Linguistics documentation (LinDoc!)
Funding: Advanced Teaching and Learning in Arts and Science initiative fund.
CO-PIs: Keren Rice and Suzi Lima.
Advanced undergraduate courses and graduate courses in Linguistics are characterized as research-based. Students are encouraged to develop small research projects in class and sometimes these projects lead to independent studies (for undergraduates) or papers (for graduate students). In one of these courses – Field Methods – required for undergraduate specialists and graduate students at UofT, students have an intense research agenda from week 2: they have to describe aspects of a language from scratch based on weekly sessions involving data elicitation and recording, transcribing, and translating passages of natural speech, working with a native speaker of the language. Assignments and final paper are based on materials the students collect throughout the semester and not on previous documentation of the language. The instructors have to provide students with background on methods and accessibility to resources for this work (both basics and new methods that have arisen recently in the field). One challenge is that many of these methods are sparsely documented in the literature, and that oral methods often are difficult to describe on paper. Given this, we believe that it would be extremely helpful to create a multimedia resources database for fieldwork. Our goal is to generate these materials with the help of previous and current students from this course, contributing to their academic development beyond the classroom. Materials would be useful in lower level courses where students are often asked to do small amounts of fieldwork.
Summer 2020: the RAs of the project (Breanna Pratley, Greg Antono, Ilia Nicoll, Virgilio Partida-Peñalva) are currently working on preparing new content (tutorials, interviews, handouts) to be shared with our new group of fieldwork students in the Winter of 2021.