E-MELD and the school of best practices: An ongoing community effort

Jessica Boynton, Steven Moran, Anthony Aristar, Helen Aristar-Dry
The E-MELD Project Many languages are being lost as smaller populations disappear in the face of the encroaching mega-cultures of our time, and numerous documentation projects have recently been initiated in an attempt to preserve as much linguistic and cultural information as possible. This response to the threat of language attrition can only be applauded, but it has also drawn attention to the need for more information about optimal formats for digital documentation. Irreplaceable language
more » ... cumentation is often being stored in digital formats vulnerable to hardware and software obsolescence. Moreover, the heterogeneity of formats currently in use limits the accessibility and repurposing of the data. In order to address these problems, it is necessary for linguists, archivists, and language engineers to reach consensus about best practices in digital language documentation and for these recommendations to be promulgated within the linguistics community. The E-MELD Project (Electronic Metastructure for Endangered Languages Data), 1 organised by The LINGUIST List and funded by The National Science Foundation of the USA (NSF), 2 was conceived partly to promote such a consensus. Among its objectives were: • The formulation and promulgation of best practice in linguistic mark-up and metadata creation;
doi:10.5167/uzh-84683 fatcat:j7obrvf74nh77orexiipy747gu