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Electronic dictionaries for language reclamation

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Title:Electronic dictionaries for language reclamation
Authors:McElvenny, James
Wilson, Aidan
Contributors:McElvenny, James (speaker)
Wilson, Aidan (speaker)
Date Issued:14 Mar 2009
Description:This paper presents the ongoing work of the lexicography team at an Australian university in developing electronic dictionaries for languages undergoing reclamation. We are currently working with Kaurna Warra Pintyandi and the Dharug Language Group to produce electronic dictionaries for speakers of Kaurna and Dharug respectively. Both languages are no longer spoken and are being reclaimed from written sources from the nineteenth century. Our work requires collecting and presenting archival records of the languages as well as new written material and related multimedia data, such as sound files of words being spoken and pictures. We have had to develop our own file formats for storing this information in a structured and stable manner. We have used XML and developed our own document type for these dictionaries. The main piece of software that we have used to present the dictionaries is the Kirrkirr dictionary visualisation program (, accessed on 30/9/08). We have also begun development our own software for presenting electronic dictionaries on mobile phones ( , accessed on 30/9/08). Proof of concept versions of the software have already been implemented and work on improving the efficiency and user friendliness of the software is ongoing. In this paper we will discuss the methods we have developed to create electronic dictionaries for languages undergoing reclamation. We will also look at the software we have developed for presenting electronic dictionaries. We will show that our methods and software can be used in other language documentation and conservation situations.
Rights:Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections: 1st International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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