Note: Hey, I thought it might be cool to start a new category for describing online documentation projects: #web-documentation There’s a bit more description at that link, please consider posting links of your own (and it doesn’t have to be this long… a simple link is just as good. I was procrasti-posting!)
This wonderful site describes the Konkow language, which is shown in the pre-contact context of the other Maiduan languages in this map:
This site is quite impressive, there is a huge amount of documentation on Konkow Maidu.
There are some innovative user interface details, such as “hoverable” linguistic glossing:
This might be a good approach for new learners, since it limits the amount of information they’re confronted with (as opposed to a full interlinear gloss).
The “Lessons” section is extensive —a lot of times on sites like this you see lessons that were clearly begun with good intentions but for whatever reason sort of fizzled out. That’s not the case here,
There are forty audio recordings of Konkow Maidu. Of these, three have full analyses, which have sentence-level audio alongside configurable intelinear sentences:
Here are what the “Sentence”, “Component”, and “Word” configurations of the interlinears look like:
There’s a tremendous amount of linguistic information here. They’re using a pretty learner-friendly glossing approach, although it’s a bit perplexing to interpret the relationship between the gloss for whole forms as opposed to glosses for individual morphemes — here, k’útumbùmbukk’ajehsámʔan is glossed as ‘go.about.hunting’ in the “Word” view, but something like k’útumbùmbukk’a-jeh-sámʔan ‘go.about.hunting-move.about-they.say’ in the “Component” view (which I assume means something like morpheme).
Anyway, it would take some familiarization with whole texts to better understand all of the information.
There is so much fun stuff tucked into this site, in particular there are some great games for learners. They’re all worth a look, but just as an example check out this printable Orthography Battleship PDF:
I could easily imagine this being a hit a conference/workshop along the lines of Breath of Life.
- I find the partially transparent backgrounds over background images pretty distracting, especially when scrolling.
- The buttons everywhere are a bit confusing. They also make it hard to link in to specific parts of the site.
- It doesn’t seem to be possible to link to specific texts, only to the URL https://www.konkow.org/pub/analyzedstories.php. This has to do with the way the button link to the text is implemented, the code looks like this:
To nerd out : it’s that “hidden” input that’s actually specifying the parameter which identifies the text, but because the
<form> is submitting via a
POST request, that value isn’t part of the URL. Hence, it can’t be linked to or bookmarked.
How’s that for nitpicky?
A sad final note is the fate of this beautiful Maidu roundhouse, which was recently lost.
But this project has made the fieldwork carried out by the community with linguist Russell Ultan more accessible, and hence more durable, for the future. It’s a great example of how archives can serve as the starting point for re-making documentation into a learner-facing form.