Documenting the Acquisition of Indigenous Languages

Clifton Pye

Email: pyersqr (at) ku (dot) edu








Documenting the acquisition of indigenous languages poses many challenges. The documenter must gain acceptance in the language community; she must explain the purpose of the project to the children’s family and get their permission to record the children; the documenter has to transcribe the recordings; and he must find a way to archive the recordings and share the results with the families and the wider world.


This webpage offers practical advice on meeting each of these objectives. The webpage focuses on recording, transcribing and archiving recordings of children. Parents can use this information to record their own children or the children of their neighbors. Students can use the information for school projects. Language communities may use this information as a step in preserving their language. I welcome any suggestions on ways to improve this information.


Follow these links for information on specific steps in documenting children’s language:


The Importance of Documenting Children’s Language
Accessing a Language Community
Recording Equipment
Recording Children
Transcribing Children's Language
Archiving the Recordings
Using the Transcriptions in the Community
Building an Infrastructure for Documenting the Acquisition of Indigenous Languages
Bibliography of Research on the Acquisition of Indigenous Languages


Page last modified 6/29/20
Copyright © 2020 Clifton Pye


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