Multimedia analysis in documentation projects: Kinship, interrogatives and reciprocals in ǂ Akhoe Hai ǁ om

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This contribution emphasizes the role of multimedia data not only for archiving languages but also for creating opportunities for innovative analyses. In the case at hand, video material was collected as part of the documentation of Akhoe Haiom, a Khoisan language spoken in northern Namibia. The multimedia documentation project brought together linguistic and anthropological work to highlight connections between specialized domains, namely kinship terminology, interrogatives and reciprocals. These connections would have gone unnoticed or undocumented in more conventional modes of language description. It is suggested that such an approach may be particularly appropriate for the documentation of endangered languages since it directs the focus of attention away from isolated traits of languages towards more complex practices of communication that are also frequently threatened with extinction.


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