Foundation for Endangered Languages

Home | Manifesto | Membership details | Proceedings | Grant Applications | Newsletter | Links | Bibliography


6. Correspondence with Ogmios

Bad-Godesberg Workshop in Ogmios 2.2: clarification

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000
From Hans-Jürgen Sasse

Hi Nick,

Thanks for your excellent detailed report on the Bad Godesberg event. ...

There is only one point I want to add a comment on, namely your introductory remarks on the connection between the VW funding program and the Bad Godesberg conference.

I think the way you state it in your report is a bit misleading, it sounds as if the Godesberg conference was some sort of a preparatory assessment to find criteria for the evaluation of project proposals submitted for support in the VW program. This is not the case. The Godesberg conference was entirely independent of the VW funding program, and the criteria worked out at the conference will of of course not go unnoticed but do not necessarily play a decisive role in the evaluation process. The reason is that the pilot phase of the VW funding program aims at trying out various concepts of cooperation or interaction between a central database project and six individual language documentation projects, where degree of endangerment plays a less important role than feasibility in the sense that it should be possible to process a certain section of field data in order to prepare them for multimedia documentation.



It is hoped that, at the end of the pilot phase, a format will have been found that enables the projects of the main phase (to be announced in 2001) to prepare comprehensive multimedia documentations of their languages. Given the emphasis on multimedia documentation of sponatenous communication events, it is clear that some of the criteria discussed at Bad Godesberg are irrelevant for the program; for example, the program will probably not support - at least in the first place - projects on languages whose attrition is so much progressed that extensive documentation of a balanced and representative number of speech genres ceases to be possible.

Habitats Project - consultants?

Brad Ray ( 28 Apr 2000:
I have been engaged in an 11-year project involving the production of a GIS database containing the world's languages, as well as its cities, towns and villages.

The database has polygons representing the areas of concentration for each of the world's 6,703 living languages. It also contains over three million cities, towns and villages, in digital file, for each of which our Habitats Project team has been compiling language data. We intend to place this database in the public domain upon completion of a first draft.

The first compilation will have a variety of errors involving population figures, incorrect Lat/Lons, migration of peoples since compilation, etc. However, it is our hope that this global assessment will serve as a stepping-stone to a more accurate picture of the world's peoples, language communities, and migratory populations.

I would be delighted to hear from members of your Society who might be interested in knowing more about our project, and perhaps serving as consultants.