« "Living Language" in London - Peter K. Austin | Blog home | Kartiya, kartipa - Barry Alpher »

business learning training articles new learning business training opportunities finance learning training deposit money learning making training art loan learning training deposits make learning your training home good income learning outcome training issue medicine learning training drugs market learning money training trends self learning roof training repairing market learning training online secure skin learning training tools wedding learning training jewellery newspaper learning for training magazine geo learning training places business learning training design Car learning and training Jips production learning training business ladies learning cosmetics training sector sport learning and training fat burn vat learning insurance training price fitness learning training program furniture learning at training home which learning insurance training firms new learning devoloping training technology healthy learning training nutrition dress learning training up company learning training income insurance learning and training life dream learning training home create learning new training business individual learning loan training form cooking learning training ingredients which learning firms training is good choosing learning most training efficient business comment learning on training goods technology learning training business secret learning of training business company learning training redirects credits learning in training business guide learning for training business cheap learning insurance training tips selling learning training abroad protein learning training diets improve learning your training home security learning training importance

Following on from Jane's announcement during the week of all the great news regarding successful grant applications, I have another bit of good news to share: James McElvenny and I recently applied for, and even more recently received, a grant from a philanthropic foundation to support our current work in compiling dictionaries.

Regular readers will know that James and I have been involved in an electronic dictionary project that began with our production of a dictionary for Kaurna, the language of Adelaide. Furthermore to this dictionary, James was able to create, for relatively little extra effort, a mobile phone version of the dictionary (as seen on TV!). The benefit of delivering usable dictionaries via mobile phones should be obvious to anyone who has been to a remote indigenous community; while computers and internet connections are rare, mobile phones are almost ubiquitous - and now that Telstra's NextG network is the standard, these phones are usually well-and-truly equipped for the installation of third-party software such as ours.

Our modus operandi, it has emerged, is to keep on developing the workflow of converting unformatted text dictionaries or Toolbox lexicons into multimedia-rich, visually stimulating dictionaries based in XML, as well as developing the software that runs these dictionaries on mobile phones, while simultaneously working on dictionaries for more and more Australian languages. The initial project had only Kaurna in its scope, but now we're working with the Dharug community in doing a similar thing for their current electronic dictionary project, and we'll soon be moving into the language that I work most closely with, Wagiman.

Wagiman's situation is a little different from either Kaurna or Dharug in that these two languages are in the revitalisation stage, having nearly died completely in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, while Wagiman is the first language of only a handful of people. A fair amount of research and lexicography work has already been done with Wagiman, and an HTML dictionary has been published, but it's only available on the internet, or as a bootleg photocopy of an outdated version. The Wagiman community don't generally use either of those resources. We plan on revising the content, as the dictionary was last updated last century, adding multimedia content such as images and sound files, and preparing the dictionary for display using the dictionary visualisation tool Kirrkirr, as well as producing mobile phone versions and printable dictionaries.

The funds that we'll soon receive will see me travelling back to Wagiman country to make these revisions, and to consult with the community as to their wishes concerning how the electronic dictionary will look and work. The other half of the money will be for James to further the development of the mobile phone dictionary software. At the same time, we'll each be working on implementations of a variety of electronic dictionaries for both the Dharug and Wagiman languages, and will soon have something to hand back to the respective communities.

We're both happy and excited to have the support of the Hoffman Foundation to continue this work, and we are very grateful to them for their kind donation. We're also grateful to Jane Simpson, Rob Amery and the Kaurna community, and Amanda Oppliger and the Dharug community for all their support of this project so far. We hope that in not too long, we'll have an even better way of producing easy-to-compile, easy-to-use electronic dictionaries of the languages that really need them, so that they no longer have to employ people like us to do so!

Comments

Congratulations!! Lemme know when you're ready to work on Dalabon!! :)

If you would like help with Dharug or the Sydney Language, and some other nearby languages, I may have resources that could be useful. I would be pleased to show you.

JEREMY STEELE

Check out the update on the AUSTRALEX conference at which the Kaurna mobile dictionary material was presented.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Enter the code shown below before pressing post

The Authors

About the Blog

The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
More

FAQ

Papua New Guinea FAQs from Eva Lindstrom Papua New Guinea (New Ireland): Eva Lindstrom's tips for fieldworkers

Australian Languages Answers to some frequently asked questions about Australian languages

Papua Web Information network on Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya)

Hibernating blogs

Indigenous Language SPEAK

Langguj gel Australian linguistics and fieldwork blog

Interesting Blogs

Omniglot Writing systems and languages of the world

LingFormant Linguistics news

Language hat Linguistics news and commentary

Jabal al-Lughat Linguistics news and commentary on a range of languages

Living languages Blog with news items and discussion of endangered languages

OzPapersOnline Notices of recent work on the Indigenous languages of Australia

That Munanga linguist Community linguist blog

Anggarrgoon Claire Bowern's linguistics and fieldwork blog

Savage Minds A group blog on Anthropology

Fully (sic)

Language on the Move Intercultural communication and multilingualism

Talking Alaska: Reflections on the native languages of Alaska

Culture matters: applying anthropology Australian anthropology blog: postgraduates and staff

Long Road ethnography and anthropology blog - including about Australia

matjjin-nehen Blog on Australian linguistics, fieldwork, politics and the environment.

Language Log Group blog on language and linguistics

Links

E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources a worldwide network of organizations, academics, activists, indigenous groups, and others representing indigenous and tribal peoples

Technorati Profile

Technology-enhanced language revitalization Include ILAT (Indigenous Languages and Technology) discussion list.

Endangered languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia

Koryak Net Information on the people of Kamchatka

Linguistic fieldwork preparation: a guide for field linguists syllabi, funding, technology, ethics, readings, bibliography

On-line resources for endangered languages

Papua New Guinea Language Resources Phonologies, grammars, dictionaries, literacy, language maps for many PNG languages

Resource network for linguistic diversity Networking practitioners working to record,retrieve & reintroduce endangered languages

Projects

ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text