typological interface for Dogon languages project

Heath Jeffrey schweinehaxen at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 6 18:02:19 UTC 2008

The website for our Dogon linguistics project (West Africa) is primarily focused on lexicon, but I have added a page including several "typological discussions", briefly going over major grammatical features of the Dogon languages we have studied to date, and indicating differences among these languages (micro-typology). Hopefully, typologists will find an informal family-level interface useful. Further detail on any given issue can be gleaned from the published grammars (currently: Jamsay, Mouton series) and unpublished drafts of grammars-to-be (on our site under "Manuscripts" tab). Some parts of the site are brand new, and all will continue to grow organically; two project members are now in the field working on other Dogon languages. We will also eventually incorporate maps, texts, audio, and other features. I will add a few more "typological discussions" in the next couple of months.
At the bottom of the "home" page for the site are a grammar template (with chapter and section numbers and comments about what information to include) and a lexical elicitation spreadsheet (English & French glosses). Both are customized for Dogon but might be of some interest to other field linguists.
I would welcome feedback about our site, and inquiries about Dogon languages including fieldwork possibilities (email to me directly). Separately, it might be good to have a general discussion on the lingtyp list about how best to construct such language family sites.
In principle the technology we've developed could be used for other language families, but developing a new site would require some labor. I myself would like to do something along these lines for Songhay and perhaps Berber. The creator and administrator of the Dogon site is computational linguist Steve Moran (stiv at uwashington.edu), and he is better positioned than I am to answer technical inquiries.
--Jeff Heath (U Michigan, Ann Arbor)
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