Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Endangered Language Workshop

Kerywords: Conferences, language description

Papers and posters are invited for a 3-day conferece on "Language
Documentation: Theory, Practice, and Values." to be held at the 2005
LSA Linguistic Institute at MIT and Harvard, July 9-11, 2005.

Impelled by concerns of the accelerating loss of languages, language
archiving has emerged as a prominent issue for linguists and for heritage
language speakers alike. The quality of documentation available for an
endangered language can determine the success of its revitalization.
The present conference has been organized by participants in the LSA
Conversation on Endangered Languages Archiving to bring archiving issues,
especially electronic archiving issues, before the linguistic community.

Six themes will be treated at the public portion of the conference in
conventional paper presentation sessions, in poster sessions, and in panel
presentations with open discussion. These themes are (1) the requirement
for language documentation training, (2) the concerns and involvement of
the heritage language communities, (3) the question of what is adequate
documentation, (4) the uses of documentation in speaker communities,
(5) training and careers in field linguistics, and (6) ethics,
documentation, and archiving. Presenters of papers and posters in the
public sessions on July 9 and 10 will be invited to join the LSA
Conversation group on the morning of July 11 in a closed session; that
closed meeting will be the second LSA Conversation to advise the Society
on efforts it should undertake in endangered language archiving.

Invited Speakers will include:

Peter Austin, ELDP, SOAS, London
Laura Buszard-Welcher, Rosetta Project and UC Berkeley
Phil Cash Cash, U of Arizona & Nez Perce Tribe
Arienne Dwyer, U of Kansas
K. David Harrison, Swarthmore (Chair, LSA-CELP)
Martha Macri, UC Davis, & Terralingua
Paul Newman, Indiana U
Susan Penfield, U of Arizona
Keren Rice, U of Toronto

Deadline for the receipt of abstracts is March 31. Notifications of
acceptance will be mailed by April 22.

Organizers: N. Louanna Furbee, LSA Archivist, and members of LSA
Conversation on Endangered Languages Archiving

To submit an abstract of a paper (15 min.) or poster for consideration,
prepare a 250-word abstract. Identify at the top of the page the
conference theme to which the abstract pertains; the conference themes
are elaborated on below, and the session chairs for each are named.
The abstract should carry identification of the author(s), the address
of the lead author, and an electronic address to which correspondence
regarding the abstract may be addressed.

E-mail the abstract, so written and identified, to *all three* of the

N. Louanna Furbee (
Lenore A. Grenoble (Lenore.A.Grenoble@Dartmouth.EDU)
Arienne Dwyer (

If you cannot comply with the electronic submission requirement, please
mail five copies your abstract so they will arrive by March 31, 2005, to:

Lenore A. Grenoble
Program in Linguistics & Cognitive Science
6085 Reed Hall
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 07355

Conference themes and session chairs:

1) "Training for Language Documentation"
Session Chair: Peter Austin, SOAS, London

This session explores what knowledge and skills are required for
language documentation and looks at models for training in documen-
tation, at community, post-graduate and other levels. What would be
the ideal training course for a language documenter, and how best
could it be delivered?

2) "The Involvement of the Heritage Language Communities"
Session Chair: Akira Yamamoto, Kansas U

A collaboration between linguist and community is the ideal in language
documentation. Three successful models of collaboration are presented
and then discussed in this session.

3."What Is Adequate Documentation"
Session Chair: K. David Harrison, Swarthmore C & Chair, LSA CELP

Adequate documentation covers not only verbal paradigms and digital
recordings, but also a broad range of knowledge domains, genres, speaker
demographics, and social contexts. It must include folk-knowledge,
ethnography, oral genres, language attitudes, etc. In other words, we
need to be willing to go beyond linguistic theory proper to adequately
document human languages.

4. "The Use of Documentation in Speaker Communities"
Session Chair: Nicholas Ostler, FEL, UK

Language documentation of the past is already the foundation for
language revitalization in may parts of the world. This session
presents case studies.

5. "Training and Careers in Field Linguistics"
Session Chair: Martha Ratliff, Wayne State U

This session will review field work training practices in the U.S.,
Europe, and Australia. The presentations will contrast the place of
field work as part of general linguistic training on these three
continents, and will address the opportunities for a career with a
field work focus.

6. "Ethics, Documentation, and Archiving"
Session Chair: Alice Harris, SUNY, Stony Brook

This panel explores the linguist's responsibilities to his native-
speaker consultants, to the community of speakers, and to the community
of linguists. A panel of three will make brief presentations, and
this will be followed by general discussion.


N. Louanna Furbee (
Lenore A. Grenoble ()
Arienne Dwyer ()
Suzanne Flynn (local arrangements)

* American An

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