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(The Former) Jakarta Field Station
of the
Max Planck Institute
for Evolutionary Anthropology
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Jakarta Field Station > Projects > Acquisition > Methodology

Research Methodology


On a weekly basis our research assistants take a camcorder into the field and record their target child in the child's home. Our aim is to record natural language in a natural setting.

The assistants then return to the Field Station and capture the video recordings to digital movie files which are then burnt to CDs. The digital movie files are made in PAL format (MPEG-1, 352 x 288 pixels, 25 fps). This allows us to fit about one hour of video onto a regular 650MB data CD.

These CDs are then viewed and coded by the research assistants, each preferably working on the session that they recorded. Coding is done directly into our customised FileMaker database solution. We use FileMaker because of its strong cross-platform capability (we have a mix of Mac OS and Windows 2000 in the Field Station).

Everything that is said by either the target child or those around him/her is transcribed, phonetically transcribed, glossed, and translated into English. A fifth field includes comments specific to the particular utterance. Each utterance makes up a record in the database.

The coded files are then checked by data integrity supervisors to ensure as much data integrity as possible.

Periodically the latest copy of the database is uploaded from Jakarta to Leipzig where it is made accessible to the linguists in Germany and the United States who are involved in the project.


Last modified: 2002
Location: http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/jakarta/methodology.php