LSA Resolution passed

Dr Christina Eira - VACL ceira at VACLANG.ORG.AU
Fri Jun 4 00:28:50 UTC 2010

Good one stephen

Dr Christina Eira
-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Morey [mailto:S.Morey at] 
Sent: Friday, 4 June 2010 9:39 AM
To: Margaret Florey; rnlist
Subject: RE: LSA Resolution passed

Dear RNLD list,

Late last year I had some discussions with Martin Hosken (Payap
University and SIL) and Doug Cooper (CRCL Bangkok) about the issue of
getting documentation work counted as an academic activity. I was going
to send something to the list at once about this, but as I was about to
head into the field (and be unable to participate in the discussion), I
didn't send the email. However following Margaret's reminding us of the
LSA resolution in January, I thought I'd forward what I had prepared

Many of us spend a great deal of our time recording, analysing and
placing on-line text corpora, often linked to media files. These are
substantial items of academic and scholarly work, involving a huge
amount of analysis, but they do not get counted as part of our academic
output because they are non peer-reviewed. 

I think we have to find a way of making this work peer-reviewable. In
short we need answers to these questions:

1) is there a peer-reviewed venue for publishing corpora?
2) what scholarly community is likely to peer- and post-publication
review such works?
3) how might we extend the critical apparatus associated with corpora?

To deal with (1), there may well be opportunities to publish text
collections in combination with grammars or grammatical sketches.
Perhaps we need something like 'Texts and text corpora of endangered
languages;' which could encompass both critical editions and extensive
(footnoted) translations - but not necessarily grammatical descriptions

As for (2), as an example, if I publish a collection of translations of
Tai Ahom manuscripts, with associated corpus tools and critical
annotations, it might be difficult to find people who can comment
knowledgeably on the work as a whole, as would be expected for ordinary
peer-reviewed scholarship. Furthermore how does one go about reviewing a
long set of glossed and translated texts? What new model of peer review
might we need to adopt?

And (3), to make the work more reviewable, do we need to have more in
the way in the way of a critical apparatus? What would that consist of
for such publications? Would it be the presentation an introduction,
methodology, comprehensive critical notes and indexing; all the things
an academic publication might normally contai. This is extra work of
course, but by offering scholars the chance to get credit for their
work, more carefully thought out text corpora for endangered languages
might result, and more scholars might be encouraged to make their
corpora available, and more might be encouraged to do this kind of work,
which all recognise is of the utmost importance.

Finally, these text corpora would need to be accessible. They can't be
reviewable if they are not also available for the academic linguistics
community to assess.

So there are some ideas, hopefully we'll have a good discussion on this.


From: Margaret Florey [margaret.florey at]
Sent: 04 June 2010 08:01
To: rnlist
Subject: LSA Resolution passed

Dear RNLDers,

The Linguistic Society of America has passed a Resolution Recognizing
the Scholarly Merit of Language
Documentation<>. This
resolution was adopted at the LSA business meeting in January, and has
now been ratified by a poll of LSA members.

kind regards,

Margaret Florey
Consultant linguist
Director, Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity

Email: Margaret.Florey at<mailto:Margaret.Florey at>
Ph: +61 (0)4 3186-3727 (mob.)
skype: margaret_florey
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