Linguistic Data Management

Nicholas Thieberger and Andrea L. Berez

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Fieldwork

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199571888
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Linguistic Data Management

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  • Linguistics
  • Anthropological Linguistics


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Linguistic data management is expounded in this article. Documenting a language requires the production of records that will persist and be accessible into the future. If we look at the number of language descriptions for which there is no corresponding accessible primary data, it would seem that creating persistent, well-structured, and citable language records has proven to be a considerable barrier to linguists in the past. This chapter seeks to provide such advice by focusing on the nuts and bolts of the creation and management of sustainable data in the course of linguistic field research, including pre-fieldwork planning and the follow-up archiving, annotation, and analysis of field-collected materials. The approach to data management presented here assumes that it is the professional responsibility of linguists to create long-lasting, archivable primary data and to situate any subsequent analyses in that data. The article further advocates the use of appropriate technologies to record, manage and annotate linguistic data, in order to create good records of the languages that are studied and also provide data upon which we make generalizations. This article aims to help find the balance between the desire to record and annotate the data to the highest possible standards, and the reality of the time constraints we all work under.

Keywords: linguistic data management; annotation; sustainable data; field-collected materials; citable language records

Article.  10848 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Anthropological Linguistics

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