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Endangered Languages and New Technologies


  • 29 b/w illus. 5 maps 8 tables
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 (ISBN-13: 9781316121450)

At a time when many of the world's languages are at risk of extinction, the imperative to document, analyse and teach them before time runs out is very great. At this critical time new technologies, such as visual and aural archiving, digitisation of textual resources, electronic mapping and social media, have the potential to play an integral role in language maintenance and revitalisation. Drawing on studies of endangered languages from around the world - Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America - this volume considers how these new resources might best be applied, and the problems that they can bring. It also re-assesses more traditional techniques of documentation in light of new technologies and works towards achieving a practicable synthesis of old and new methodologies. This accessible volume will be of interest to researchers in language endangerment, language typology and linguistic anthropology, and to community members working in native language maintenance.

• Shows how new technologies are being used by both professional linguists and community members trying to maintain their native languages • The material is accessible, so readers unfamiliar with the technology discussed will be able to understand and enjoy the chapters in this volume • Explores endangered languages from around the world - Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America


Introductory essay. Endangered languages in the new multilingual order per genus et differentiam Nicholas Ostler; Part I. Creating New Technologies for Endangered Languages: 1. The Kiranti comparable corpus: a prototype corpus for the comparison of Kiranti languages and mythology Aimée Lahaussois; 2. European dialect syntax: towards an infrastructure for documentation and research of endangered dialects Sjef Barbiers; 3. Keyboard layouts: lessons from the Meꞌphaa and Sochiapam Chinantec designs Hugh Paterson, III; 4. Rule-based machine translation for Aymara Matt Coler and Petr Homola; 5. Data management and analysis for endangered languages Dorothee Beermann; 6. Endangered languages, technology and learning: immediate applications and long-term considerations Russell Hugo; Part II. Applying New Technologies to Endangered Languages: 7. Digital curation and event-driven methods at the service of endangered languages Bernard Bel and Médéric Gasquet-Cyrus; 8. 'Allant contre vent et mathée': Jèrriais in the twenty-first century Anthony Scott Warren and Geraint Jennings; 9. The use of new technologies in the preservation of an endangered language: the case of Frisian Tjeerd de Graaf, Cor van der Meer and Lysbeth Jongbloed-Faber; 10. Language description and documentation from the native speaker's point of view: the case of the Tundra Yukaghir Cecilia Odé; 11. American Indian sign language: documentary linguistic methodologies and technologies Jeffrey E. Davis.


'This volume presents groundbreaking work on the opportunities and challenges of using technology in the study and revitalization of endangered languages and is sure to become a foundational work in this field.' Lenore A. Grenoble, University of Chicago

'In an age of language endangerment crisis and rapid technological developments, this volume sets the tone for future discussions on technologies for endangered languages and can serve as a stepping-stone for future research as technology develops and the field of endangered language studies grows.' Tihomir Rangelov, Language in Society


Nicholas Ostler, Aimée Lahaussois, Sjef Barbiers, Hugh Paterson, III, Matt Coler, Petr Homola, Dorothee Beermann, Russell Hugo, Bernard Bel, Médéric Gasquet-Cyrus, Anthony Scott Warren, Geraint Jennings, Tjeerd de Graaf, Cor van der Meer, Lysbeth Jongbloed-Faber, Cecilia Odé, Jeffrey E. Davis

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