General Suggestions for Use of Online Resources



Š        Wikipedia


My feeling about the use of Wikipedia is that it's best regarded as a starting point for research rather than a cited source. In the best cases, the content of wikipedia entries is vetted and referenced. In the worst, there are errors introduced to the material, errors a novice cannot easily detect. Wherever possible, cross-reference information you find on Wikipedia with other sources, and then if you find a published academic source confirming the material, cite that academic source.  If you cannot confirm a form (even indirectly), I would not use it in your paper or presentation. If you find that other published sources confirm part of the content (e.g., if you’re wanting to confirm the use of a vocabulary item in your language, and find an academic source listing part of this word such as a stem, or morpheme, etc), then I would use and cite the wikipedia form, with a qualifying footnote saying that you were not able to confirm the accuracy of the listing, but your academic source confirms the stem, morpheme, etc. Sometimes there are questions as to the neutrality of the content on a wikipedia page. Often this means that the content itself may be contested, as well, since there may be a bias in the representation of pronunciation, meaning, initial attestation, etc. If you can check out the references at the bottom of the page, I would do so, and try to use cross-referencing wherever possible.


Š        Sites within the field of Linguistics


Open Language Archives (OLAC)  is helpful


...but the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) is not.



Š        Other random but helpful advice:

1. A big problem as I see it with Ethnologue is that Ethnologue lists language isolates under the Creole category. –Teresa Polizzi 1/13/10


Audio Resources



Š        You Tube may actually be used with some success. Again, it is best to search using language-specific search terms (do NOT search for “creole language soundfiles”). You may find some sites use actual date and authorship information. Where these are present, they are the most credible sources. Make sure you acknowledge the author, date, and location of recording (dialect information also is important, if provided).


Language-specific resources (in alphabetical order by language)


Š       Sites that ARE likely to be useful:








Chinook Jargon

Chinook-English Lexicon (Courtesy: Wade Caves, 1/14/10)


Haitian Creole (live streaming news in Haitian!)


Tok Pisin





Š       Sites that are Not likely to be useful:

Various - This is a creole music site without any text. This one doesn’t seem to actually have any audio files.


Haitian This one is seems to be a travel site that is selling audio tapes to learn how to speak Haitian Creole. - This is more about how to learn Haitian Creole, and it costs money.