Language Documentation and Conservation  
The University of Hawai'i  

Linguistics at UH

Recording languages is vitally important work that requires the kind of training provided by our department. Since its founding in 1963, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai'i has had a long history of linguistic fieldwork on undescribed languages in the Pacific region, Asia, and worldwide. Students at UH receive a thorough grounding in linguistic methodology and analysis, but, in addition, they are able to learn methods for building documentation of a language into their research methodology. Such documentation takes seriously the notion that the material we record should be accessible for others, including the speakers of the language. This means that we have to locate the recordings in a suitable archive, and any text that we annotate can then be referenced to the original media on which it was recorded.

The outputs of a University of Hawai'i PhD in language documentation have included reference grammars or more finely-grained analyses of an aspect of a language (e.g., prosody, phonology or syntax) with archival field recordings and may include text collections and dictionaries created using well-structured files that allow various outputs from the same underlying piece of work. We emphasize efficient fieldwork methods in which recording, data management and data processing augment the linguistic analysis necessary to produce a language description.

Location of documentation projects

The map below shows general locations of documentation-related projects undertaken by students and faculty in the Department. Note that references here are only to languages for which there is little or no previous documentation.

MA dissertation, PhD dissertation, Faculty research, Language Documentation Training Center (LDTC) project, LDTC project/PhD dissertation.

Thanks to Emily Bartelson, Deborah Masterson, James Crippen, and Kaori Ueki for help with this site.

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