« New website: Aboriginal Languages Network, Port Augusta - Peter K. Austin | Blog home | Good things like HCSNet don't have to end just yet »

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

from David Nathan, SOAS, London
29 June 2010

On Wednesday 30 June, the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) at SOAS, University of London, will launch the new version of our website. The site now offers access to endangered languages (EL) resources, subject to conditions applied by depositors.

ELAR implements a new approach to the archiving and dissemination of EL resources. Our system uses a “Web 2.0” or social networking model, where information owners and information users can interact with and via the web-based system. For example, depositors can update their deposits, and manage and monitor access to them. Registered users can apply to depositors for access to restricted materials. The archive becomes redefined as a forum where users can negotiate with depositors (initially, about access; we plan to add to the possibilities of depositor/user interaction in the coming months).

ELAR’s archive system is designed specifically to meet the needs of EL community members and researchers. The processes, conventions, and interfaces of social networking are a good fit with our understanding of the needs of endangered languages documentations and its various stakeholders. While protocol (collection and observance of sensitivities and restrictions) is important for documentary linguistics, conditions of access can be diverse, yet need to be accountably managed by a “system”. Using a flexible, web-based facility makes access control, monitoring and authorisation more flexible, nuanced, and dynamic. In fact, the majority of our depositors have already indicated that they prefer to allow access as a result of application from potential users on a case-by-case basis.

We also felt that the existing genre of EL archives finds it difficult to fully meet the often-expressed, but rarely met, goal of making it equally feasible for community members to access resources. For example, viewing deposits at ELAR will show resources easily accessed by the languages speakers’ names, enabling community members to locate resources in terms of their own community/social perspectives, rather than technical or linguistic ones.

While hoping that ELAR will make a significant contribution to the development of documentary linguistics, we understand that fixes and improvements will be needed, so we sincerely invite feedback and suggestions for improvement of our site (we’ll do our best to respond, even though we are a team of only 2.5 people!).

ELAR’s online system is built around a set of protocol categories, derived from the categories on our deposit form. There are 4 major categories, each of which matches rights to access resources with the recognised roles of users. The categories are U (User - allows access to all non-restricted resources), R (Researcher - allows access to those recognised as researchers in an area relevant to linguistics or endangered languages), C (Community member - those affiliated with the language documented), and S (Subscriber - those granted individual rights to access by the depositor).

What to see: anyone can see the top pages of the site, with metadata for the deposits. For those deposits which are access-enabled (see the front page, elar.soas.ac.uk), anyone can see basic information about the deposit. To go further and see resources, all users have to register with ELAR. If you already have an ELAR user account then you can access resources, subject to their restrictions, and any additional user roles you may attain.

While about 30% of materials are completely open to access, all but a few resources in the collection are accessible to those who become recognised as a community member (decided by each depositor or their delegate), a researcher (decided by ELAR) or as a subscriber to a particular deposit (decided by the depositor or delegate upon application).

Initially, we have prepared 12 deposits for release, with the co-operation of their depositors. These deposits cover many geographic areas and a range of access types. Deposits by Lahaussois (Koyi Rai, Nepal), Chambers (Kumbokota, Solomon Islands), Jukes (Ratahan, Indonesia) and Morey (Singhpo and Turung, India) are open. Deposits by Bowern (Yan-nhangu, Australia), Jany (Chuxnabán Mixe, Mexico), Morrison (Bena, Tanzania), Caballero (Choguita Rarámuri, Mexico), Mendez (Ayutla Mixe, Mexico) and Budd (Bierebo, Vanuatu) are accessible upon application for subscription approved by the depositors. Kono’s deposit (Kiksht, USA) is currently accessible to recognised community members only. Throughout the year we will release further deposits at the rate of about one per week.

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.

Recently commented on


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


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


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