Lexical Database Archiving Questionnaire

Featured

It's true!

I am asking around on different mailing lists to gain some insight into the archiving habits of linguists who use lexical databases. I am specifically interested in databases created by tools like FLEx, ToolBox, Lexus, TshwaneLex, etc.

Background Story Continue reading

Risks 

I read a news article today that talked about a couple from Australia raffleing off their Micronesian resort. They must have sold more than 50,000 tickets for 49 aus. dollars.  I think to myself “that is awesome.  I’d love to buy a profitable business for $49. How cool is that!” In reality if I had seen the raffle before it ended I would likely not have bought a ticket because there was too much risk of getting nothing out of it. I wonder: am I not risky enough?

Mapping Katja’s mental concepts

I know I won’t touch all the mental concepts that Katja has right now. But here are some (more noun like concepts) that I can easily remember:

  • Beard
  • Bird 
  • Bath 
  • Blueberry 
  • Ball 
  • Bottle
  • Bye(-bye)
  • Dad
  • Mom
  • Water
  • <æ> for Andrew 

She has some verb like categories or actions that I think are salient as well. Some of these things are tactile motor movement skills which require some sort of mental conceptualization, while others are directional in nature:

  • up (which is not just vertical, but might include “hold me”, or switch people holding me)
  • down
  • open (pull)
  • closed (push)
  • More (food)
  • Turn around to get off the couch or go down a step
  • Point
  • Wave bye-bye
  • Soft hands (as in gentle hands — when she is pulling my beard)
  • Dance
  • She also crawls and assisted walks
  • Feeds herself (we can assume that she can feel hunger)
  • Takes things off: She doesn’t like anything on her head, can take her pants off
  • She likes to reach out with her index finger and thumb and experience the feeling of hair
  • Reads a book while cooing to herself
  • Plays the drums
  • She is music aware
  • She is speech sound aware (she knows she hears a sound she is not making and that it is different than what she is making) for instance the difference between <ah> and <u> but can not yet pronounce <u>. 

She has a sense of emotion that clearly includes:

  • Happy laughter
  • Empathy when others are crying

And Jeremiah visits

Jeremiah came and visited me. I’m excited. It is a good thing. Becky and I made him a cake, a tiramisu cake. 

Tiramisu cake

We invited some friends over for dessert, and played wits & wagers. It was a bit of a delayed birthday celebration. He next day we went up to Portland. 

Katja liked the swing so much that she complained about leaving. So put her im the swimg for a second round of swinging.

Birthday party for Jeremiah

Lots of laughter


We took JJ to Off the Waffel for Goat in the headlights

Long Bike Rides

I'd like to do a Bike ride from Eugene, to Bend, OR via Willamette Pass on 58 and then return to Eugene via McKinnzie Pass on 126. 289 miles in total. Here is a map: https://goo.gl/maps/g6xWQCTHhrJ2 . The thing is I will need water. When I did my trip from Sisters to Eugene a few years ago water management was my issue during the ride (as well as fruit acquisition).

Here are some links for Hydration systems I am gathering information on:

Funding language documentation 

Just a quick thought.

Perception based loosely on facts:

A lot of language documentation money gets pushed towards endangered languages or languages with very few speakers. Is often endowed upon the aspiring academic, who may be promising to create a grammar for a previously un-written or undescribed language.

Sometimes I have the opportunity to read grammars. I read them and have questions about how the described data sounds. Both In context and as elicited. To that end I wonder if it wouldn't be money better spent for language documentation and benefit to the academy, if organizations funding language documentation research for the academy would rather fund the collection of audio texts and video texts of data already described in grammars. In a way provide the support that modern grammars should have.

That is, I find that often the state of grammars about languages (often about African languages) are so fraught with errors, or jaded with theoretical disposition, that it would be immensely helpful if these grammars were supported with audio texts. It seems that the focus on small, often dying, languages, requiring an impetus of "adequate" endangerment for funding, shows a pre-disposition to try and collect specimens of some exotic language. While the collection of rare specimens is good in some sense, it is not always the most gentrifying for the language speakers, nor is it really the most helpful for academic pursuits.