Volume 16 : Language Documentation & Conservation

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
  • Item
    An integrated FLEx–ELAN workflow for linguistic analysis with multiple transcriptions and translations and multiple participants
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-12) Timotheus A. Bodt
    This paper presents a workflow integrating the linguistic software ELAN and FLEx. This workflow allows the user to move between these two software applications to refine the transcription, translation, and annotation of the speech of multiple participants. The workflow also enables the addition of multiple writing systems for vernacular and analysis languages. The paper is based on a manual that explains in a simple and visual manner how to achieve such a set-up in both ELAN and FLEx. The workflow allows language consultants to make changes and additions to transcriptions and translations in ELAN in a script and language that they are most comfortable with. In this way, the workflow fills a gap where language consultants with limited computer literacy and command of the major interface languages of software programmes can still work on the basic analysis of recordings of a language that they know well.
  • Item
    Case study of using Facebook groups to connect community users to archived CoRSAL content
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-12) Merrion Dale ; Prafulla Basumatary ; Javid Iqbal ; Rex Khullar ; Maaz Shaikh
    The purpose of this article is to examine the way community depositors can utilize Facebook to promote increased interaction with their archived language collections. The Facebook groups we are observing are run by individuals who have deposited language materials with the University of North Texas’ Computational Resource for South Asian Languages (CoRSAL). The depositors are sharing these materials for community review and discussion. Traditionally, language archives are not heavily used by members of the communities whose languages are contained in the archive. It is the aim of this project to foster more active relationships between language archives and language communities.
  • Item
    Type right: Examining the underlying causes of common typeface and font errors for Indigenous orthographies, and a possible path forward
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-11) Julia Schillo ; Mark Turin
    Despite considerable typographical innovations over the past twenty years that have enabled and facilitated typing capabilities for many Indigenous language orthographies, typographical errors continue to disproportionately affect Indigenous languages. These include errors in glyph shapes, which impact legibility, and issues with glyph positioning, which impact readability. In this article, the glottalization accent mark is used to demonstrate how such errors manifest in various widely used typefaces. Through a case study of the glottalization accent mark, we identify the root causes of common typographical errors, stemming from the Unicode Standard, which provides the code structure for digital typing, and from the typeface design methodology used to create most of the typefaces available to Indigenous language communities. Many Unicode characters used by Indigenous orthographies lack rigorous and precise semantic definitions, leading to inconsistencies in glyphs created through a language-agnostic typeface design process that does not require designers to be familiar with the specific orthographies for which they design glyphs. To address these issues, we recommend that Unicode revisit the character semantics of Indigenous orthographic elements to create more robust semantic definitions and that typeface designers use a community-partnered design methodology that engages with the goals of language reclamation and revitalization.
  • Item
    Experiences with remote linguistic-ethnobiological fieldwork on bird names in the Qaqet language of Papua New Guinea
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-09) Henrike Frye ; Shirley Balar ; Aung Si
    Language-focused ethnobiological research can be a challenging endeavour, even when research teams are able to access their field sites and talk to consultants in person. The challenges are compounded when research must be carried out remotely. In this paper, we present our experiences in carrying out remote linguistic-ethnobiological research on bird names in the Qaqet language spoken in East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, with the participation of a locally based research assistant. We discuss the numerous issues faced by the researchers and the assistant and the steps we took collaboratively to overcome these issues. Ultimately, changes were required to the stimulus materials, interview protocol, and consultant selection procedure; these changes were implemented stepwise over a series of four field trips. The data obtained in the process provide the first reliable identifications of culturally important bird species in Qaqet, along with ethnographic reports of the role these birds play in Qaqet society and culture. This, and other preliminary findings on phenomena such as interindividual variation, has indicated fruitful avenues for research, following the end of the current global crisis.
  • Item
    Maya-kwobabiny: Re-embedding language at Kepa Kurl, Western Australia
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-09) Clint Bracknell ; Amy Budrikis ; Roma Yibiyung Winmar
    This paper describes a Nyungar language revitalisation project in the southern region of Western Australia conducted in partnership between a university research team and the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation. It discusses how linguistic analysis of historical Nyungar documentation was essential to addressing community aims of re-embedding the language into the community, developing and using pedagogical resources, and exploring new domains for language use. In particular, this paper focuses on the community’s desire for the reclamation of a dialectal flavour of Nyungar that is distinctive to the Esperance region, and the factors contributing to a successful partnership between the researchers and the community organisation in terms of capacity-building, leadership, and sustainability.
  • Item
    Linking endangerment databases and descriptive linguistics: An assessment of the use of terms relating to language endangerment in grammars
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-09) Roberto Zariquiey ; Mónica Arakaki ; Javier Vera ; Guido Torres-Orihuela ; Claret Cuba-Raime ; Carlos Barrientos ; Aracelli García ; Adriano Ingunza ; Harald Hammarström
    The world harbours a diversity of some 6,500 mutually unintelligible languages. As has been increasingly observed by linguists, many minority languages are becoming endangered and will be lost forever if not documented. The increased urgency has led to the development of several global endangerment databases and a more fine-grained understanding of the language endangerment progression as well as its possible reversal. In the present paper, we explore the terminological correlates of this development as found in the descriptive linguistic literature, using a corpus of over 10,000 digitized grammatical descriptions. Comparing this with existing endangerment databases, we find that simply counting terms related to endangerment does signal endangerment, but the degree of endangerment is more difficult to assess from grammatical descriptions. The label endangered seems to be an umbrella term that covers different situations ranging from moribund languages with less than ten speakers to minority languages with several thousand speakers. For many languages considered endangered in existing databases, explicit terms to this effect cannot be found in their descriptions. The discrepancy is due to incompleteness of the searchterm set, gaps in the literature, and projected rather than observed information in the databases. Our explorations illustrate the potential for database curation assisted by computational searches both to maintain accuracy of the databases and to investigate assumed language endangerment. Future work includes a larger cloud of search terms, usage of term frequencies, and prescreening of descriptive literature for the existence of a relevant section. From the perspective of descriptive linguistics, this study calls for a more careful correlation between the language endangerment indexes, as developed in the global endangerment databases, and the treatment of the endangerment status of individual languages in descriptive grammars.
  • Item
    Shifting teacher/learner roles in language reclamation efforts relying on digital technology
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-09) Edwin Ko
    This paper examines social interactions between caregivers and youths at two language revitalization camps of Northern Pomo, a dormant language of Northern California. Drawing from video- and audio-recorded interactions at the two camps, I examine the discursive strategies caregivers use while collaborating with youths in joint language-learning activities. Because some of the activities rely on the use of digital tools, I also investigate whether the use of digital technology has any effect on these strategies and on social interactions more generally. By employing discourse analytic techniques, I find that youths often position themselves in the more powerful role of teacher while positioning caregivers in the role of student regardless of whether digital technology is used. The key insight is that caregivers, who act as agents of primary socialization, acquiesce in the roles that are imposed on them. They do this by surrendering some of their own authority to create a space that helps to promote youth empowerment. Thus, inversions of positions – and power – may be seen as a welcoming and, perhaps, important aspect of the language revitalization endeavor.
  • Item
    Centering relationality in online Indigenous language learning: Reflecting on the creation and use of Rosetta Stone Chickasaw
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-09) Kari A. B. Chew ; Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson) ; Juliet Morgan
    Drawing on the authors’ experiences developing Rosetta Stone Chickasaw (RSC), an asynchronous online Chikashshanompa' (Chickasaw language) course, this article shares examples of how relationality is enacted in online Indigenous language learning. We discuss the RSC interface and ways that it created opportunities and barriers to centering Indigenous and Chikasha (Chickasaw) relational epistemologies in which people are related to one another, the land, the spirits, and to the language itself. Our reflections on relationality in RSC are guided by the following questions: What relationships are required to create an online Indigenous language course? How do people create and strengthen relationships in online education spaces? How can online language work be re-emplaced in off-line relationships? Sharing examples from RSC, we consider relationality in video, audio, images, written instruction, and assessment. We conclude by returning to our guiding questions, offering our reflections and encouragement to others who may undertake similar work.
  • Item
    Networks of support: How online resources are built, maintained, and adapted for community language revitalization needs at FirstVoices
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-09) Bridget Chase ; Kyra Borland
    FirstVoices is a technology-centered organization that works with forty-seven Indigenous language communities around British Columbia. One of its top priorities is providing high-quality technical assistance as well as accessible annual training sessions for the platform. This requires nuanced systems of support and adaptability within the methods we use. Over the last two years, its team has grown and modified its procedures with the goal of best serving the unique needs of different communities. With nearly 1,000 support emails in its Service Desk system since June 2018 and two years of regional training – one in-person, one entirely online – the team has tracked trends within technology-centered language requests. In this paper, we will conduct a mixed methods analysis of all the support tickets the team has received, as well as an analysis of the qualitative and quantitative feedback from training sessions in order to break down the patterns and themes that exist. We will also discuss the process of creating and maintaining a wiki-style Knowledge Base, the variety of techniques employed to assist remote users, and the potential for future growth in FirstVoices’ networks of support. Our intentions with this paper are to provide insight for community groups, language organizations, and linguists alike around capacity-building opportunities in the field of digital language mobilization. As FirstVoices continues to grow and as technology becomes even more essential within the realm of language revitalization, it is crucial that we make note of these trends and prepare ourselves to adapt to the digital-based needs of language communities.
  • Item
    Musicolinguistic documentation: Tone & tune in Tlahuapa Tù'un Sàví songs
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2022-09) Morgan Sleeper ; Griselda Reyes Basurto
    This study introduces a new methodology for integrating musical and linguistic data in language documentation, using ABC notation and open-source tools like ELAN and MuseScore. Designed for portability and exportability, and to facilitate both linguistic analysis and community-oriented material development, this methodology is used here to explore the link between linguistic tone and musical tune in Tlahuapa Tù'un Sàví, a Mixtec language of Guerrero, Mexico. Through a multimodal analysis of three Tlahuapa Tù'un Sàví songs, this study illuminates several interactions between tone and tune, including a strong preference for melodic lines to move in parallel with the tone melody of the lyrics and associations between musical ornamentation and specific tonemes. The results of this study not only increase our understanding of the tonal system of Tlahuapa Tù'un Sàví and its interaction with musical style but also help illustrate the rich potential of musical data in linguistic research and documentation. More than simply language data with a melody, the combination of music and language in song offers a unique opportunity for analysis not otherwise possible, and the methodologies demonstrated here aim to make this combination as accessible as possible for researchers, archivers, and community members alike.