Volume 10 : Language Documentation & Conservation

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    ¿Por qué escribir en una lengua que (casi) nadie puede leer? Twitter y el desarrollo de literatura escrita
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2018-03) Lillehaugen, Brook Danielle
    El desarrollo de literatura en lenguas que no son usualmente escritas por sus hablantes puede confundirse con un problema circular. Por un lado, los escritores potenciales son renuentes en escribir en su propia lengua o se encuentran desmotivados de escribir en una lengua que casi nadie puede leer. Por otro lado, los hablantes pueden preguntarse ¿por qué aprender a leer una lengua de la cual no hay nada disponible para leer? Los escritores esperan contar con un número de lectores, mientras que los lectores esperan tener material para leer. En este artículo argumento que la plataforma Twitter puede ser utilizada efectivamente para apoyar el florecimiento de escritores de lenguas de las cuales no hay lectores actuales, favoreciendo el equipo entre escritores y lectores voluntarios que no necesitan saber la lengua meta. Expongo un modelo para este tipo de trabajo, el cual puede ser una manera efectiva para los lingüistas y sus estudiantes y como apoyo a los activistas en lenguas indígenas.
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    Bringing User-Centered Design to the Field of Language Archives
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2016-12) Wasson, Christina ; Holton, Gary ; Roth, Heather S.
    This article describes findings from a workshop that initiated a dialogue between the fields of user-centered design (UCD) and language archives. One of the challenges facing language archives is the fact that they typically have multiple user groups with significantly different information needs, as well as varying cultural practices of data sharing, access and use. UCD, informed by design anthropology, can help developers of language archives identify the main user groups of a particular archive; work with those user groups to map their needs and cultural practices; and translate those insights into archive design. The article describes findings from the workshop on User-Centered Design of Language Archives in February 2016. It reviews relevant aspects of language archiving and user-centered design to construct the rationale for the workshop, relates key insights produced during the workshop, and outlines next steps in the larger research trajectory initiated by this workshop. One major insight from the workshop was the discovery that at present, most language archives are not meeting the needs of most users. Representatives from all user groups expressed frustration at the current design of most language archives. This discovery points to the value of introducing a user-centered approach, so that the design of language archives can be better informed by the needs of users.
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    A tale of two worlds: A comparative study of language ecologies in Asia and the Americas
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2016-12) Anonby, Stan ; Eberhard, David M.
    Language use patterns of individual speech communities are largely conditioned by the different language ecologies in which they are immersed. We believe this ecological stance helps explain why minority languages of Asia are more likely to be sustainable than those in the Americas. We have identified fourteen traits which characterize ecologies in general, describing how they play out differently in the Americas versus Asia. Each trait is considered to be on a continuum, with opposing values that measure whether conditions are more or less favorable to language maintenance. On one side of the continuum, we discuss the values in the Americas, and explain how these are more favorable to language shift. On the other side of the scale, we talk about the values in Asia, and explain how these are more conducive to language maintenance. To show the application of these traits, the paper also includes two in-depth case studies as prototypical examples from each area, one from the Americas and one from Asia. We conclude with some comments about how these traits can be useful for those engaged in language development work.
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    Bonggi language vitality and local interest in language-related efforts: A participatory sociolinguistic study
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2016-12) Kluge, Angela ; Choi, Jeong-Ho
    In Sabah, as in the rest of Malaysia, many indigenous languages are threatened by language shift to (Sabah) Malay. The present study examines to what extent Bonggi, an Austronesian language spoken on Banggi Island (Sabah State), is affected by these developments. One research objective was to investigate Bonggi language vitality, and explore local (church) interest in and priorities for Bonggi language-related efforts. To minimize the influence of outside researchers, the methodological approach was based on a participatory approach to language development planning. A second objective was to examine the usefulness and appropriateness of the chosen approach. Regarding the first research objective, the findings suggest that Bonggi language vitality is still vigorous in more remote parts of the island, while language vitality is weaker in the areas closer to the main town of the island. At the same time bilingualism in (Sabah) Malay appears to be pervasive throughout the Bonggi speech community. The findings also indicate that interest in Bonggi language work is rather limited. A few Bonggi church communities, however, expressed interest in creating Bonggi songs. Concerning the second research objective, the review of the methodology shows that the chosen approach is not appropriate in the context of research-driven sociolinguistic studies.