Emergent Technologies

Fortunately, emergent technologies now enable us to create video recordings, and integrate them with text and other explanatory or analytical material. It is essential to carefully archive language documentary materials, because such materials have irreplaceable value for language communities and for linguists and other researchers. Digital archives allow possibilities never before imagined: catalogues are accessible and searchable from anywhere with internet access, materials are easily deliverable by network or on DVDs, and communities can express sensitivities or restrictions to control access to certain materials. For example, our PISL project is developing an extensive linguistic corpus and multimedia digital collection of lexical signs, grammatical features, and discourse genres. The project brings together sign language linguists and members of American Indian signing communities to make language and the information conveyed more accessible vis-à-vis emergent documentary linguistic technologies and using captions, voice-over, slow motion and careful explanation (encompassing technologies such as iMovie or FinalCut Pro and QuickTime, iMovie, iDVD and ELAN) to make the digital corpus accessible to scholars, community members, and broader audiences.

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