Die DBAT: n Onbekende digitale taalkundemuseum

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    The Digital Bibliography of Afrikaans Linguistics (DBAL) is a comprehensive database of Afrikaans linguistics and language-related sources. This database includes more than 16 000 sources, of which 9 500 are available in full-text format. In addition, 1 500 links to external fulltext sources are also listed. This article reports on research on the usage patterns of the DBAL. In this regard, the assumption that the extensive archive provided by the DBAL is not used sufficiently by potential users is confirmed. The DBAL was based on the Bibliografie Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde (BNTL) or Bibliography of Dutch Linguistics and Literature. In terms of the establishment of the DBAL, it was important that the database not only includes lists of sources but also provides an archive of digitalised sources. From the start of the development of the database in 1993 up to its official launch in 2010, the database now includes not only articles from academic journals, books, dissertations and theses, but also reviews, newspaper articles and online material. A process of digitalisation of out-of-print books on Afrikaans linguistics was also initiated. After acquiring the necessary rights from authors, publishers or families of deceased authors, a number of key historical works on Afrikaans linguistics and related fields were scanned and added to the database. The entries in the database cover 193 different categories. The majority of sources in the database are listed under "Diachronic linguistics and language history", followed by "Education and teaching", "Language practice and the study of language in use", "Language politics" and "Lexicography". Usage statistics indicate that from June 2010 up to December 2015 a total of 6 672 searches were conducted on the DBAL. This included searches from 1 038 individual devices. Most of the visitors are from South Africa; however, a fair number of visitors from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany were also noted.