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Myaamiaataweenki eekincikoonihkiinki eeyoonki aapisaataweenki: A Miami Language Digital Tool for Language Reclamation

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Title: Myaamiaataweenki eekincikoonihkiinki eeyoonki aapisaataweenki: A Miami Language Digital Tool for Language Reclamation
Authors: Baldwin, Daryl
Costa, David J.
Troy, Douglas
Keywords: Miami Language
Indigenous language revitalization
digital tools
archival materials
Myaamia Center
Issue Date: Dec 2016
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Baldwin, Daryl, David J. Costa & Douglas Troy. 2016. Myaamiaataweenki eekincikoonihkiinki eeyoonki aapisaataweenki: A Miami Language Digital Tool for Language Reclamation. Language Documentation & Conservation 10. 394-410.
Abstract: In 1988, a young graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley began searching for materials on a little-known Algonquian language called Miami, which had ceased to be spoken sometime in the mid-twentieth century. Prompted by curiosity to describe this little-known language, the search uncovered two and a half centuries of documentation. This archival record would serve as the basis for the grammatical reconstruction of what is known today as the Miami-Illinois language, a central Algonquian language of the southern Great Lakes region. These materials are crucial not only to the reconstruction of Miami-Illinois, but also for the growing interests of Myaamia (Miami) people to reclaim their language and cultural heritage. The next twenty years proved to be a struggle in locating, duplicating, organizing and building a physical corpus of data for linguistic analysis and use in community revitalization. Language reconstruction from documentation requires tools for archival interaction and access that linguistically-based software and database applications lacked at the time. This prompted Myaamia researchers and language educators to seek out support for the construction of a digital archival database that met the needs of both tribal linguists and community culture and language revitalizationists. The first version of the Miami-Illinois Digital Archive (MIDA) became a reality in 2016 after support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was provided to Miami University’s Myaamia Center to develop this unique research tool. This paper describes the challenges of working with digitized archival materials and how MIDA has filled the software tool gap between archives, linguists and revitalizationists. The Miami-Illinois Digital Archive can be found at http://www.ilaatawaakani.org.
Sponsor: National Foreign Language Resource Center
Pages/Duration: 17
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24713
ISSN: 1934-5275
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:Volume 10 : Language Documentation & Conservation



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