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Using primary sources for this assignment
Here's an excerpt from the requirements for the annotated bibliography:
Most or all of your sources should be scholarly. Those that are not might provide some insight into the culture (e.g. in a work of literature), a quote from a native speaker (quoted in a newspaper or magazine article).
Work of literature and quotes from native speakers are examples of primary sources. Primary sources are useful because they provide evidence. You can analyze this evidence yourself, and/or talk about how other scholars analyze the evidence (in secondary sources).
Finding primary sources
Many primary sources are freely available online. Try these strategies to find them:
- Imagine what a primary source for your topic would look like, and then type a general description into Google. For example, if you're doing a case study of the Cherokee language, you might type "Cherokee language documents" or "Cherokee language recording."
- Alternatively, instead of typing a general description into Google, type the title of a particular primary source. You can find these titles listed in the citations in secondary sources.
- Search in an online archive. Here are three online archives that I recommend. (Don't expect to find every language in these archives, though!)
The Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR)
"The Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) is a digital repository preserving and publishing multimedia collections of endangered languages. The archive contains collections from all over the world with regional strongholds in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Latin America.... Collections in ELAR contain audio and video recordings of every day language use, verbal art, songs, narratives, ritual and more. The collections also contain dictionaries, pedagogical materials like primers for language teaching, transcriptions and translations of the recordings into the major contact language like Spanish, Mandarin, English or Russian for example."
"Kaipuleohone is the digital language archive of the University of Hawaiʻi. Founded in 2008, the archive houses texts, images, audio, and video collected from around the world by linguists, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, and more. Our collection includes a wealth of photographs, notes, dictionaries, transcriptions, and other materials related to small and endangered languages."
The Endangered Languages Project
For each language, click on the language and then click on the Resources tab to view primary sources.