Keeping our Languages Strong: Workshop on Mobile Apps for Language Documentation


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Presenter:  Professor Steven Bird in partnership with Northern Institute

Date: Sep 12, 2016 to Sep 16, 2016

Time: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Contact person:  Professor Steven Bird (Adjunct Northern Institute)
T: 08 8946 4915
E: steven.bird@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Northern Institute, Yellow 1.2.48 @ CDU (Casuarina Campus)

Within the next five years, we can expect that speakers of every extant human language will have access to mobile broadband and social media. In contrast, today's language documentation technology depends on monolithic desktop applications designed for linguists.
The goal of this workshop is to work out how language documentation technology can be reinvented as a suite of lightweight web applications, and to take initial steps in this direction. Key pieces of the puzzle include:

  • a common model of linguistic data that spans primary recordings, glossed interlinear text, and lexicons;
  • a wish-list of software components for annotation, metadata, tagging, transcription, translation, etc;
  • support for collaborative workflows that involve linguists and members of speech communities;
  • user interfaces that make minimal assumptions about literacy or technological fluency;
  • a participatory design process for engaging speech communities;
  • implementation strategies that enable linguists to produce custom apps.

The workshop will consist of a variety of small group working sessions, ranging from coding sprints to consultations with linguists and language speakers. The workshop will be of interest to computer scientists, documentary linguists, mobile app developers, and speakers of endangered languages. Anyone interested in participating should send an expression of interest to Steven Bird by 31 August. Further information.

The workshop is organised by Steven Bird, with sponsorship from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. It builds on the success of the recent Workshop on Technology and Wellbeing in the Top End.