3.1 Every word is sacred methodology
- Your Language Journey Workbook -
The community documentation of your language is the most important part of your language work. It must be prioritised from the beginning and sets the foundation for everything else to come. For many of us we are one generation away from losing our languages. We don’t like to hear that but it is something we cannot ignore. For others we are sadly already past this stage and now trying to reclaim our languages from books and recordings.
Trust us when we say time cannot be taken for granted here.
We MUST ensure the documentation of language is a community run and managed activity. If you follow our method and plan you can and will succeed in this.
So How Does Miromaa Work For Language Documentation?
Miromaa believes every word is sacred and each piece of language evidence is given it’s own entry, page and catalogue ID in Miromaa.
For each entry we enter every piece of information we have about that word.
It is similar to the way archaeologists would catalogue an artefact, for example a stone tool. This tool has a story. Someone made it in a certain place and time. They used it and then lost it at another place and time. This story tells us about the person who owned it and every detail about it and where it was found is a clue about this tool and that person.
It is the same with language, each word is like a stone tool and each piece of information is a clue that can tell us something about that word. That is why we give each word its own entry and why we enter every piece of information we have about that word.
Once you have created an entry or page in Miromaa for your word you can then build the documentation around that entry and enrich it thoroughly.
Miromaa has fields for you to do this from the basic word and translation, to sentences, texts, example uses, cultural knowledge, multimedia, metadata, grammar and more.
Miromaa cares as much about the surrounding information for each word as the grammatical label and category. While we respect the stufy of language exists as a science, we believe our languages are rich, complex and beautiful parts of our living cultures.
The Key Information Screen
Miromaa gives you the ability to document what we call the Key Information for each entry. Fields in this section of Miromaa include:
*The minimum fields in Miromaa are Language Word and Translation Word.
Controls and Access
Entering controls allows you to control who has access to which words and which words get included when you create your word lists and dictionaries.
Custom fields are there in case you need a field that has not been included in Miromaa. There are 9 custom fields and you can change these to anything you want. An example of how people have used this field is for phonetic spelling.