Foundation for Endangered Languages
8. Places to Go, on the Web and in the World
Return of Endangered Languages List
After a hiatus from October 2002, the Endangered-Languages-L has resumed, now hosted by LinguistList. There is also an archive at
PARADISEC (Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures)
Australia lies within a region of great linguistic and cultural diversity. Over 2000 of the world's 6000 different languages are spoken in Australia, the South Pacific Islands (including around 900 languages in New Guinea alone) and Southeast Asia. Within the next century this number is likely to drop to a few hundred. The majority of these 2000 languages and their associated cultural expressions such as music are very poorly documented. Even in those languages that have begun to be documented many of the most developed cultural expressions (such as the dense and highly allusive language used in song) have never been studied.
PARADISEC (Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures) offers a facility for digital conservation and access for endangered materials from the Pacific region, defined broadly to include Oceania and East and Southeast Asia. At present no such facility exists, and our research group is examining feasible models to ensure that the archive can provide access to interested communities, and conforms with emerging international standards for digital archiving.
In 2003 we aim to establish a framework for accessioning, cataloguing, and digitising audio, text and visual material, and preserving digital copies. The primary focus of this initial stage is safe preservation of material that would otherwise be lost, especially field tapes from the 1950s and 1960s.
The current option for preserving this data is to digitise it at the best quality available and to store several copies in separate locations, as PARADISEC is doing.
Intellectual property issues
A Quadriga system uses the AudioCube workstation to digitise audio material at 24-bit, 96 khz BWF. A backup version of all data is held offsite at the APAC facility in Canberra, using the GrangeNet network to deliver the data from Sydney.
PARADISEC will establish a standard cataloging method using metadata that conforms to the Open Languages Archives Community (OLAC)
Training in the documentation techniques of recording, data management, and data linkage. Topics covered include:
Safe backup of digital data.
For further information, contact
Information Needed: cross-cultural significance of blushing
Christine Patricia Murphy (cpm23(at)columbia.edu), a student in the Anthropology Department at Columbia University, is currently looking into the cross-cultural significance of the physiological and emotional responses associated with blushing and their implications for nonverbal communication. Please let her know if you have encountered related terms in studies of Native American languages.
Announcing the Encyclopaedia project of Saami Culture
Saami Indigenous culture in focus:
The actual idea of an encyclopaedia of Saami culture is based on a study module launched in 1993 at the University of Helsinki as the responsibility of a working group representing several departments of the university. The Saami Culture Encyclopaedia Editorial Board was formed from the university’s Saami Research Working Group, with Nordic associates and partners as added members. The Saami Institute of the University of Umeå, one of the project’s partners, has been represented by Olavi Korhonen and Mikael Svonni. Other partners are the Álgu etymological project of the Saami languages operating at the Research Institute for the Languages of Finland and the Finnish Literature Society.
New approaches and new dimension: The starting point and inspiration of the project is the distinctive culture of the Saami and interest in them that has emerged in different parts of the world. Since early times, scholars in various fields, travellers and clergymen have been interested in the Saami, whose culture has been regarded as the most exotic of all the cultures of the European peoples. The contributors of the articles in the encyclopaedia seek to revise and overturn old stereotypes and to present the recent results of multidisciplinary research concerning the Saami
The objective is to chart and systematize information in the culture of the Saami – a Nordic indigenous people across national border. In Europe in the process of integration there is cause to place particular weight on preserving the cultures of indigenous peoples, and on the broad distribution of researched information on them. The project also involves the goal of strengthening the identity and cultural awareness of the Saami. In today’s changing world this is one of the best ways of preventing the social and cultural marginalization of small peoples living in difficult conditions
Comprehensive data bank:
A modern electronic data bank will include approximately 4000 entries in article form on the Saami language and Saami history, mythology, folklore, literature and music, as well as the economy, the natural environment, means of livelihood, media, rights, education, art, societal conditions etc.
Timetable: A Data bank will be in the internet by the autumn of 2003. Saami Culture
New Courses in Corpus Linguistics and Lexicography
The Centre for Corpus Linguistics and Dictionary Research Centre, Department of English, University of Birmingham, UK, announces two short courses for September, 2003. The first is a three-day course entitled “Using Corpora in Language Research,” which will give students an introduction to the present state-of-the-art in corpus linguistics and will show how to use corpus research in a variety of other contexts. The second course is on “Meaning and Dictionaries.” This course is aimed particularly at researchers in lexicography and at professional lexicographers in the early stages of their career. It will deal with both monolingual and bilingual aspects of meaning. For further information, see the website: or go to the main university website:
The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America
Digital archive for languages of the Pacific and South-East Asian region.
Two new websites: Minority Languages of Europe and Lesser Turki
Sorbian Cultural Information
The Resources for Endangered Languages web site
Central-Eurasia-L (formerly CentralAsia-L)
Allow us to present to you http://www.valencianlanguage.com/ the international site dedicated exclusively to the Valencian language with web versions in English, Spanish, French, German and Valencian.
Valencian is a Romance language spoken by more than 2 million people in the historic Kingdom of Valencia, which is located on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. It is official according to the article 7.1 of the Valencian Statute of Autonomy and is included in the Spanish Declaration of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Nevertheless it is subject to discrimination by those who want to impose the Catalan or the Spanish in Valencia.
Valencianlanguage.com is a project of the Language and Literature Section of the Royal Academy of Valencian Culture (RACV) http://www.llenguavalenciana.com/, http://www.racv.es/, which exists for the exterior promotion of the Valencian language.
Frontier Language Institute
Rationale for FLI
At the present time, there are no institutions in the North West Frontier Province that can provide this kind of training. Therefore, the Frontier Language Welfare Organization has established the Frontier Language Institute (FLI) to fill this void. Its purpose is to serve the many language communities represented in Pakistan by training Pakistani nationals and equip them with the skills necessary to carry out language and community development activities in their own communities.
Equipped with this training, they will be able to produce all sorts of literature and multimedia productions, which will both document and preserve these languages for future generations. These media will include such things as dictionaries, cultural expositories, reading primers, disease prevention booklets as well as collections of folktales, proverbs, poetry and songs. Working closely with language communities, FLI will assess their needs and through adult education, provide informal training to men and women from those communities in the areas of linguistics—in order to carry out language research and development, translation—to translate various works of literature across linguistic boundaries, anthropology—so that cultural heritages can be shared, and print and non-print media production and use—so that these communities can better address the needs of all their people, including the school-aged, the elderly and the needy.