Providing resources and trai­ning in the practices and tools of the digital humanities

Colang Workshops

CoLang 2012 Workshops

18 - 29 June 2012 Workshop to­pics fall under four primary themes (newly revised): Basics (linguistic theory and grantwri­ting); Technologies (including subgroup A: Basic Technology Use, and subgroup B: Annota­tion and Data Management Software); Community Language Work (ethics and practicalities of on-site collaborative research, including and institutional issues); and Appli­cations (applied lin­guistics methods). There are no “tracks” per se, but faculty advising by email and Skype in ad­vance of Co-Lang will allow individualized programs for each participant. If you are new to this area, the courses under Basics and introduc­tory Technologies and Community Language Work will be useful; acade­mic linguists and seasoned community linguists may choose advanced Technology and Applica­tions courses; and graduate students will be en­cou­raged to take a balance of Community, Tech­no­logies, and Applications Workshops. The Workshops open and close with all-day plenaries. The opening plenary on 18 June will allows us to orient ourselves as a group, and cover the entire workflow of language research and revitalization projects; the 29 June plenary gives us a chance to review the common threads of the workshops of the previous two weeks. Beginning 19 June and ending on 18 June, participants will take four Workshops each week, for a total of eight workshops (normally 6 hrs of instruction time each). The registration form allows participants to state course preferences. After registering, participants will be contacted by a CoLang advisor to tailor a course schedule to their interests. An overview listing of the Workshops is followed by detailed course descriptions; also compare the overview schedule. When two levels of a course are offered (e.g., Audio 1 & 2), you may take the entire two-week sequence, or choose a single level that suits your background.

Workshops Overview

as of 7 June 2012

Themes/Courses Meeting Times Instructors
Opening day plenaries: Steps 18 June 2012 Marsha Hotch & Alice Taff; Anthony Aristar & Helen Aristar-Dry; Kennedy Bosire & Carlos Nash
Intro to Linguistics 1 Week 1, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Pat Shaw
Intro to Linguistics 2 Week 2, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Pat Shaw
Orthography Week 2, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Keren Rice & Colleen Fitzgerald
Lexicography Week 1, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Claire Bowern & Arienne Dwyer
Transcription Week 1, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Yoshi Ono & Yamina El-Kirat
Grantwriting Week 1, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Doug Whalen & Spike Gildea
Technology (A: Basic, B: Software)
A: Audio 1 Week 1, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Carlos Nash & Toshi Nakayama
A: Audio 2 Week 2, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Yoshi Ono & Toshi Nakayama
A: Video 1 Week 1, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Racquel Yamada & Carlos Nash & Brad McDonnell
A: Video 2 Week 2, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Carlos Nash
B: Toolbox 1 Week 1, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Susan Gehr
B: Toolbox 2 Week 2, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Albert Bickford
B: FLEx 1 Week 1, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Beth Bryson
B: FLEx 2 Week 2, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Beth Bryson
B: Database 1: Week 1, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Helen Aristar-Dry & Anthony Aristar
creating, accessing
B: Archives/Databases 2 Week 2, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Joshua Thompson
B: ELAN 1 Week 1, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Bradley McDonnell
B: ELAN 2 Week 2, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Bradley McDonnell
B: Map-making Week 2, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Helen Aristar-Dry & Anthony Aristar
Community Language Work
Life in communities: Week 1, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Racquel Yamada & Spike Gildea
Ethical practices
Blurring the lines: Week 1, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Marsha Hotch &Alice Taff
Skills for indiv/comm relations
Language activism: Week 1, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Phil Cash Cash & Colleen Fitzgerald
Outreach skills
Dissemination: Week 2, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Phil Cash Cash
Internet & multimedia tools
Strategies: Week 2, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Claire Bowern & Stephanie Fielding
To reintroduce languages to
communities without speakers
Pedagogical grammars Week 2, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m. Mary Linn
Ethnobiology Week 2, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Kelly Kindscher
Non-laboratory phonetics Week 1, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Eno-Abasi Urua & Doug Whalen
Surveys Week 2, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Keren Rice & Mary Linn
Map-making Week 2, 10:15 -11:45 a.m. Helen Aristar-Dry & Anthony Aristar
XML Week 1, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Patrick Flor
R Week 2, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Patrick Flor
Closing day plenaries 29 June 2012 Colleen Fitzgerald, Stephanie Fielding, and others

Workshops - Course Descriptions


Linguistics 1 & 2

Instructor: Patricia A. Shaw Time: 8:30am - 10:00am Weeks 1 & 2: Ling 1 will meet 19 - 22 June 2012; Ling 2 will meet 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 633 Fraser Hall A critical question for members of an endangered language community is: How can the study of Linguistics help me learn more about my own language? Linguistics offers a framework of concepts and analytical tools to help understand the way different languages are organized. Within every component of a language - ranging from what sounds are used to how words, phrases, and sentences are built up into conversations or stories or speeches - there are patterns. What Linguistics aims to do is discover just what those patterns are. What makes every language so unique and so special is how those patterns are structured and how they work together to become a vehicle for the particular world view of the cultural identity of the people who speak that language. It’s also the case that all human languages share certain components of structure. So, in a context, for example, where an indigenous community wants to educate their children to be bilingual in both their local language and the “majority” language, it’s really helpful to know - even though the two languages may ‘sound’ really different -what aspects are in fact essentially similar. At the same time, it’s also really important to learn about where they are fundamentally different, as this can contribute to understanding what aspects of language learning are more challenging, and why. This course will provide a foundation in the essential concepts of linguistic structure: what do terms like phoneme, phonology, morpheme, morphology, noun, verb, pronoun, subordinate clause, imperative, evidential, etc., mean? How can you learn to identify them in your language? This course will also address other questions like: What does it mean for different languages to be related to each other? How do dialects differ? What kinds of changes in a language can occur over time? Class participants will have the opportunity to work with these issues by analyzing “data” from a diversity of endangered languages around the world. Participants are particularly encouraged to bring resources and questions from their own language contexts.

Practical Orthography

Instructors: Keren Rice & Colleen Fitzgerald Course Time: 10:15am – 11:45am Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 302 Watson Library In this three-day workshop we outline the complex process of designing an orthography. While phonological analysis is usually straightforward and can be done in a short period of time, orthography development is a process that involves much more than a phonological analysis. We walk students through some of the considerations one may have to take into account when designing an orthography, such as script, standardization, politics and religion. We provide ample opportunity to hands-on analysis and aim to exchange experiences, brainstorm, and expand resources together.


Instructor: Claire Bowern & Arienne Dwyer Course Time: 10:15am – 11:45am Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 455 Watson Library This course is a practical introduction to dictionary making. We will follow the process of how to compile a dictionary, starting with wordlists from field notes to final publication. The four sessions will cover principles of what should go in a dictionary, how to target materials for different audiences, how to target elicitation at lexicographic topics, lexicography from a corpus, and software which assists in dictionary compilation, editing, and sharing. There will be opportunities for students to apply the principles learned in class to their own data. We will provide examples from dictionaries from Australian Aboriginal languages and Central Asian languages, based on published resources and our own work. The instructors are both fieldworkers with extensive experience in the ins and outs (and opportunities and pitfalls) of practical lexicography.

Presentations (pdf)

Resources for Lexicography

  • Bowern (2008) Linguistic Fieldwork has a short chapter on fieldwork for making dictionaries: BOWERN_Ch08 (PDF)
  • The Pama-Nyungan links from Yale might also be useful.
  • Frawley, Hill, and Munro (2002) Making Dictionaries (Frawley, William, Kenneth C. Hill and Pamela Munro. 2002. Making Dictionaries: preserving indigenous languages of the Americas. Berkeley: University of California Press) is a collection of articles on dictionary-making in languages of the Americas. It is aimed at academics but brings up a lot of the points we have been talking about in class.
  • Sue Atkins and Michael Rundell (2008) Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography is a very detailed guide about how to go about making a dictionary. It unfortunately makes a lot of assumptions about language structure, language materials (we all have multi-million word corpora, right?), and has less to say about multilingual dictionaries than monolingual English dictionaries, but it is still quite useful for things to think about in dictionary making.
  • Sidney Landau (1984/2001) Dictionaries: the art and craft of lexicography. (2nd ed., Oxford University Press.) Another introduction to lexicography, again heavily focused on English, but useful for issues to think about.
  • The web site of the TshwaneLex software has links to papers from the project staff which talk about lexicography, particular computer-based lexicography.
  • Bartholomew and Schoenhals (1983) Bilingual dictionaries for Indigenous Languages. Another classic publication (somewhat hard to use though).
  • a nice list of online dictionaries which are worth browsing.
  • Coward and Grimes, Making Dictionaries (PDF). (In SIL MDF formatting, but is also a very pain-free introduction to much of lexicography. Mostly useful if you are using SIL software such as Toolbox or FLEx.) 
  • Green, Jonathon. 1996. Chasing the Sun - Dictionary-Makers and the Dictionaries They Made Henry Holt & Co [Also Pimlico edition 2002].
  • Hartmann, Reinhard. R. K. 2001 Teaching and Researching Lexicography. Palgrave. [not in KU Library]
  • Haviland, John. 2006. Documenting lexical knowledge. In Jost Gippert, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann and Ulrike Mosel (eds.) Essentials of Language Documentation, 129-162.
  • Jackson, Howard 2002 Lexicography: An Introduction. Routledge.
  • Mosel, Ulrike. 2004. Dictionary making in endangered speech communities. In: Peter K. Austin (ed.) Language documentation and description. Vol. 2, 39-54. London: SOAS.
  • Lexique Pro: available for free [pc, mac temperamentally with wine]
  • Toolbox: available for free [pc, or mac/linux with wine]
  • TshwaneLex: (€150 for educational license) [pc or mac]
  • KirrKirr: available for free [pc, mac, linux]
  • Wunderkammer: available for free [java program for converting Toolbox/Lexique dictionaries to mobile phone dictionaries]
  • WeSay: [pc, linux under ubuntu]
  • Flashcard programs: e.g. Ankifree [pc, mac, linux, phone]
  • TextStat
  • AntConc (Mac-PC-Linux)
  • W.O.L.F.
  • Matapuna: Free [server]; designed for multiple users. Requires some setup and knowledge of how servers work.
  • Miromaa: pc only: [pricing tiered based on type of license, from free to c. AU$500]

Example online dictionaries:


Instructors: Yoshi Ono & Yamina El-Kirat Course Time: 8:30am – 10:00am Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 302 Watson Library Transcription (the representation of any particular language in international phonetic symbols) is vital for any research on language in general and language documentation and revitalization in particular, for it allows for the representation of the native sounds of the language and enables the reader to concretely represent them and systematize and make sense of the flow of connected speech they are exposed to. There are different methods of transcription. Transcription systems are used for different goals. This workshop first introduces some useful transcription methods, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses; then the focus is on two broadly useful methods, discourse transcription and phonetic transcription (especially the International Phonetic Alphabet). Each session of the workshop includes intensive practice in transcription methods, with an assessment of the pros and cons of the particular transcription systems for the participants’ projects. In exploring appropriate transcription systems for particular projects, the choice will take into consideration the goal of the project (Is the purpose of transcription to create authentic teaching materials? To analyze sound systems? Or interaction?), and the attitudes of the community (What are the views of the community? Of academics?) This course also provides an opportunity for transcriptionists experienced in one method to try another. Relevant Links: 
IPA chart
IPA Help software
SAMPA web link
UCSB transcription
An introduction to CA
Transcription Symbols for CA

Listening Tools: a) two headphones (open air type) with Y adaptor (headphone splitter)

Grant writing

Instructors: Doug Whalen & Spike Gildea Course Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 455 Watson Library This workshop will highlight what works and what doesn’t in grant applications. Though aimed primarily at those new to the process, there are new tricks and opportunities that experienced grant writers will benefit from as well. An overview of the key national and international funding agencies will be provided, and there will be discussion of ethical and intellectual property issues. We will consider the sections commonly included in grant applications, and participants will begin to draft sections of a mock proposal. In prior workshops, the ones who got the most benefit were those who came in with some concrete ideas for projects, and who prepared things like: lists of goals they would like to accomplish, outlines of activities that would lead to accomplishing these goals, initial timelines for moving through the various activities, and a first estimate for how much it might cost to pay for these activities.

Technology A (Basic)

Audio 1

Instructors: Carlos Nash & Toshi Nakayama Course Time: 10:15am – 11:45am Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 419 Watson Library Audio recording is the backbone of most language documentation and language maintenance projects. In these hands-on workshops, we will cover principles of making and editing audio recordings. Questions addressed include: How do I make a clean recording? What is the best, most durable gear that won’t break the bank? How do I get that into a computer, chop it up, and save it for posterity? How do I keep track of all the recordings I have? What sorts of free software is available to edit audio?
Depending on participants’ interests, the final day will be devoted to analog capture (How do I convert those old cassettes I have?) and/or time-linked transcription (How do I get a transcription to move along with the audio on the screen, karaoke style?)

Audio 2

Instructors: Yoshi Ono & Toshi Nakayama Course Time: 10:15am – 11:45am Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 455 Watson Library Audio recording is the backbone of most language documentation and/or language maintenance projects. This workshop is intended for people with audio recording experience, who wish to improve their field recording, data archiving and processing techniques. Taking the needs of the workshop participants into consideration, we will focus on some of the topics included in the following list. Depending on the size of the enrollment, we might organize consultation sessions targeted at individual projects. For this purpose, it would be most useful for the participants to bring well-defined projects, project ideas involving audio materials, and/or specific audio needs. Potential topics:

  • Audio recording device specifications (recorders, microphones, and peripherals)
  • Microphone placement under a variety of recording conditions
  • Making and exporting time-linked transcriptions and other analyses
  • Internet-based transcription techniques
  • Digitization of legacy analog recordings
  • Shopping audio equipment

The overall aim is to be able to make and process the highest quality possible recordings within one’s constraints, to be able to capture, preserve, and make use of analog and digital audio recordings. Note: Participants are also encouraged to bring their own recording equipment and/or recordings. A few recording devices will also be available on-site.

Video 1

Instructor: Racquel Yamada & Carlos Nash & Brad McDonnell Course Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 633 Fraser Hall This workshop introduces students to the basics of filming, capture, editing, storage, and mobilization of video footage for linguistic documentation. The hands-on format of the course allows students to practice new skills as they are presented. In addition to the technical aspects of video production, we explore the pros and cons of various hardware and software options. In addition, we discuss ways of creating maximally useful finished products. Cameras will be available for student use during the workshop, however students are encouraged to bring their own cameras if they have them available.

Video 2

Instructors: Carlos Nash Course Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 633 Fraser Hall This course will teach advanced techniques for shooting in the field and editing with Final Cut Pro. Participants will learn how to develop an "eye" when shooting and use "shortcuts" when editing.

Technology B (Software)

Toolbox 1

Instructor: Susan Gehr Course Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 419 Watson Library This workshop will give beginning/intermediate Toolbox users a chance to go over the key steps in setting up a Toolbox database (setting up orthography, deciding on fields and preliminary testing) prior to entering the first record. Also covered will be the topics of how to enter data in Toolbox and to create output of dictionaries for print and online. Other topics may include (based on time and student need): how to work on a language project as part of a team, tracking changes made to the database structure, or text interlinearization basics.


CoLang 2012 Toolbox 1 (S. Gehr)

Toolbox 2

Instructor: Albert Bickford Course Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 419 Watson Library This workshop will be an opportunity for experienced Toolbox users to work together on their own projects while learning new techniques from other experienced users and from the facilitator; specific topics will be decided on by the participants themselves, based on their interests. This will be decided in the last couple months before the workshop based on who signs up by then. Possibilities include mass editing of Toolbox dictionary files, setting up text glossing for different needs and audiences, exporting data to XML, integrating with Lexique Pro, creating formatted output of dictionaries, using Unicode with Toolbox, and database design in Toolbox for special research projects.

FLEx 1 & 2

Instructor: Beth Bryson Course Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm Weeks 1 & 2: FLEx 1 will meet 19 - 22 June 2012; FLEx 2 will meet 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 455 Watson Library FieldWorks Language Explorer (FLEx) is a linguistic database for lexicographical and text data collection and analysis. In this workshop, we will cover entering texts, adding words to a lexicon directly and by means of glossing text, adding additional information to lexicon entries, linking audio or picture files to words or sentences, sorting/filtering/bulk editing entries, printing out interlinear text, exporting a dictionary for printing via collateral tools such as LexiquePro or Pathway. We will briefly discuss import from Toolbox data, collaborating with other users of FLEx or WeSay by means of LIFT, and collecting words according to a semantic domain template. Before the first class (for both FLEx classes), participants should download and install FieldWorks 7.2.4. No other software is needed for this class. Sample data sets and handouts with links to other useful software will be provided.

Archives & Databases 1

Instructors: Helen Aristar-Dry & Anthony Aristar Course Times: 8:30am – 10:00am Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 455 Watson Library Course website: CoLang 2012 Databases and Archives This course covers basic database design and the use of database management systems in the design of linguistic databases. Databases allow us to efficiently organize and analyse language data, as well as to do most of the work in creating and storing language resources such as dictionaries, annotated texts, and pedagogical materials. The course will discuss the relational model and how SQL is used to access data, as well as relational design principles based on dependencies and normal forms, and how these relate to logical design. Most importantly, it will show how good database design must:

  1. Determine the relationships between the different data elements.
  2. Superimpose a logical structure upon the data on the basis of these relationships.

It will cover the basic steps of the database design process, and show how a database design can be encapsulated in an ER (Entity-relationship model) diagram. Indexes, views, and integrity constraints will also be covered. Participants will be expected to apply these skills towards their own project during the class, using a database management system such as Filemaker, MySQL, or Access.

Archives & Databases 2

Instructor: Joshua Thompson Course Time: 8:30am – 10:00am Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 455 Watson Library This course will proceed from where Databases 1 leaves off. We will discuss the principles of digital text encoding and Unicode, problems in digital text storage and display, and the interactions of fonts with text encoding. We will also explore archives, data permanence, and issues in metadata development and standardization. Depending on how much students progress in the preceding course, we may continue with SQL-based database design, and will explore how relational databases compare with other methods of structuring, storing, and accessing data. We may also investigate moving data in and out of databases via plain text, XML, and ad-hoc techniques, and how to prepare data for different types of presentation and use.

ELAN 1 & 2

Instructor: Bradley McDonnell Course Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm Weeks 1 & 2: ELAN 1 will meet 19 - 22 June 2012; ELAN 2 will meet 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 419 Watson Library In this class we will learn how to use the ELAN software to link transcriptions to audio and video media. We will also talk extensively about how to conceptualize tiers (layers of linguistic analysis and glossing in your transcription) so that you can create annotations flexible enough for a range of configurations of speakers and languages. 
This class will be useful for anyone working with extended spontaneous speech recordings, including narratives and conversation. 
If you have recordings and transcriptions you'd like to work on during this class, please bring them along! If you don't, I'll provide some for you to practice with. Course Materials

Relevant Links

What is ELAN? "ELAN (EUDICO Linguistic Annotator) is an annotation tool that allows you to create, edit, visualize and search annotations for video and audio data. It was developed at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, with the aim to provide a sound technological basis for the annotation and exploitation of multi- media recordings. ELAN is specifically designed for the analysis of language, sign language, and gesture, but it can be used by everybody who works with media corpora, i.e., with video and/or audio data, for purposes of annotation, analysis and documentation." (Hellwig and van Uytvanck 2006)

By the way, ELAN is free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. What are the advantages to using ELAN? ELAN has several advantages. First, it creates an archival XML document that links your annotations (text) to the timeline of the media in a way that is long lasting and not reliant on proprietary software for recovery (meaning that your transcription will be available well into the future). Second, ELAN is flexible enough to be used when you have a recording of one speaker, or five speakers, or several languages at once, etc. Third, ELAN allows import from and export to a range of other popular linguistic software and format (like Transcriber, Toolbox, CHILDES, etc.). Why do we need a workshop in using ELAN? ELAN is highly specialized software, and it can take a while to learn how to set up your files. This workshop will help you climb over the learning curve, and you'll see that ELAN isn't difficult once you know how to use it!

Community Language Work

Life in Communities: Ethical Practices

Instructors: Racquel Yamada & Spike Gildea Course Time: 8:30am – 10:00am Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 608 Fraser Hall This workshop provides an introduction to the personal and practical dimensions of what has historically been called fieldwork, the situation in which a researcher leaves his/her community and goes into another community for the purposes of studying the language and/or culture of the people in that community. Topics covered include preparation for both travel and cross-cultural communication; establishing contact and getting settled in a community; building and maintaining productive and satisfying relationships with consultants, the host community, and local institutions; health and safety in the field; balancing research and social goals; and similar topics.

Blurring the lines

Instructors: Alice Taff & Marsha Hotch Course Time: 4:00pm to 5:30pm Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 302 Watson Library With a view toward balancing and merging the needs and interests of language revitalization communities on one-hand and research linguists on the other, we will explore the following questions: Why collaborate? How can we design projects together? What guidance can we provide to each other? What are the needs of each participant and how can they all be met? Who is in charge of the project and what difference does it make? How can we recognize and deal with conflicting cultural expectations hindering a project? Who “owns” the project results? Where can collaboration lead? We will address these questions and others through sharing example situations, and group discussion.

Language Activism

Instructors: Phil Cash Cash & Colleen Fitzgerald Course Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 302 Watson Library In the framework developed by Florey, Penfield and Tucker, a language activist is a person who focuses energetic action towards preserving and promoting linguistic diversity. Crucially, this definition includes both Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists who bring a diversity of interests, skills, training in linguistics, and involvement in language documentation and revitalization projects. The Language Activism workshop is intended for all those who, by this definition, take themselves to be language activists. We welcome community members, linguists, students in linguistics, educators, and so forth to join us for this lively and inclusive workshop. The workshop will include a wide range of small group exercises based around activism scenarios. Participants will work towards drafting their own plan for community language activism. The content will reflect the different experiences of the two instructors, as well as draw in case studies from other contexts. We will examine and critically reflect on the range of skills that language activists may need in order to work in partnership with communities to undertake language documentation and revitalization projects. We recognize a wide range of contexts for language activism that may vary depending on country, language community, institutional affiliation and so forth. Issues covered include:

  • The collaborative development of projects and teams
  • The inclusion of activism in both documentation and revitalization activities
  • Methods for raising awareness of Indigenous language issues amongst the wider public, utilizing media, social networks, and lobbying
  • Creating new venues for public use of language, especially as a way to build grassroots support for language programs
  • Training for language activism
  • Ways of reaching out to youth and children to engage them in language advocacy and language learning
  • The wider aspects of activism, such as belonging, recognition, financial, measurable deliverables etc.,
  • And, how activism can work in settings that require government, community or institutional approval, recognition and or support for activities

Dissemination: Internet & Multimedia

Instructor: Phil Cash Cash Teaching Assistant: Jeremy Meerkreebs Course Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 455 Watson Library Art and multimedia are powerful vehicles for language and cultural maintenance as they enable people to explore, express and reaffirm traditional knowledge, to restate where traditional strengths lie. By taking advantage of the ubiquitous digital technologies with which community advocates and fieldworkers/linguists interact, we can create multimedia products that are a blend of cultural continuity, innovation and transformation; products that excite, inspire, document and promote language and Indigenous ecological knowledge. The workshop is aimed at both ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’- that is, both language activists and also fieldworkers/linguists who are external to the language community. It will be a mix of hands-on activities, mini lectures and discussions. We will offer a series of hands-on tasters in:

  • Making Talking Books
  • Creating Animations
  • Ethnographic Film Making

For each taster session we will also present and discuss example projects, whereby we will investigate the effectiveness of combining elders, youth, media and art practices with respect to cultural knowledge preservation and language documentation. The discussions will consider:

  • Issues of sustainability and viability in a community-based approach
  • Issues in building language documentation in collaborative teams
  • Cultural control
  • Natural language use
  • Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights
  • Consultation and negotiation
  • Benefits of a collaborative approach to intergenerational knowledge transfer
  • Benefits of interdisciplinary fieldwork

The workshop series will be suitable to beginners and intermediates.

Strategies for Reintroducing Languages to Communities

Instructors: Stephanie Fielding & Claire Bowern Course Time: 10:15am – 11:45am Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 3 West, Watson Library This workshop is an introduction to language revitalization. While language revitalization strategies are very much dependent on the circumstances of the individual communities, there is a growing body of knowledge about ways in which successful projects can be set up. The four sessions will cover topics such as where to find materials about your language; creating new words and sentences vs. maintaining authenticity, how to ‘repurpose’ earlier materials for revitalization classes, and activities and strategies for teaching and using the language. Examples will be drawn from Mohegan and Australian languages. We will also have time in each class for students to talk about their own languages and situations. Stephanie Fielding is Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders of the Mohegan Tribe. She has a Master of Science in Linguistics from MIT and is a leader in the revival of the Mohegan language. Claire Bowern is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Yale University. She works on language documentation and revitalization with Bardi and Yolngu people in Northern Australia. **NOTE FROM THE INSTRUCTORS**

Dear workshop participant,
Stephanie and Claire are running the workshop class on strategies for reintroducing languages to communities. So that we can make the class as appropriate as possible for the students, we'd be very grateful if you could send us an email ( and and let us know the following:
  • If you're from a community that is looking to revitalize/reintroduce the language to the community (if so, which language(s)?)
  • Are you already involved in a language program? If so, do you have any language materials that it would be ok to share with the rest of the class?
  • Is there anything in particular that you would like us to talk about during the course?


Pedagogical Grammars

Instructors: Mary Linn Course Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 302 Watson Library This workshop discusses the development, purpose, composition and use of pedagogical grammars. We focus on pedagogical grammars for minority and endangered languages. Topics include: grammars and the speech community; typology of grammars; writing grammars; how the language determines what to include; including/writing culture into a grammar; consideration of issues of planning, use, function; examining differences between theoretical and pedagogical grammars. In addition, we look at these topics from several perspectives: that of a pedagogical grammar writer, that of an endangered language teacher, and that of a language program consultant. Speech communities are increasingly looking for linguists who are aware of and able to contribute to language teaching and learning goals, and who can collaborate with community members in meeting these goals. Language community members want to learn how to use, learn, and teach their language, and a pedagogical grammar is written with those goals in mind. The input of community members is key to developing an accessible and culturally appropriate grammar. The workshop is geared towards linguists and speech community members who are planning to write or are writing a grammar, or reworking a theoretical grammar into a pedagogical grammar. Course Syllabus (pdf) (Word)

Ethnobiology: The cultural use of plant materials for food and medicine

Instructor: Kelly Kindscher Course Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm (Wednesday 27 June field trip will be from 4:00pm - 7:00pm) Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 302 Watson Library This course will explore the use of plants by Great Plains Native Americans for use as food and medicine. Particular emphasis will be given to language and words related to plants, and how their meaning and translations have been very useful to the ethnobiologist or linguist who wants to learn and catalog these uses. In addition the class will have a field trip to the Native Medicinal Plant Research Program, located on the KU Field Station, to see many of these plants being grown there. Reading materials will focus on core concepts within ethnobiology and will be highlighted by several case studies that the instructor has worked on. The first is an ethnobotany project of the Hochunk (Winnebago) and the 1920 notes of Huron Smith who interviewed these people in their homelands in Wisconsin. The second is the native plant materials of the Baker/Haskell Wetlands and their traditional uses by Native Americans. The topic is also of interest because it concerns environmental justice issues raised by the proposed South Lawrence Trafficway, which is currently being challenged in federal court. The third concerns the medicinal plant Echinacea and the sustainability of its current wild harvest on lands in Kansas and Montana, and finally is the use of traditional foods by Southeast Asian Refugees who were part of a community garden project the instructor worked on during the mid-1980s in Columbia, Missouri. Relevant reading:

Non-Laboratory Phonetics

Instructors: Douglas H. Whalen & Eno-Abasi Urua Course Time: 10:15am – 11:45am Week 1: 19 - 22 June 2012 Meeting Location: 633 Fraser Hall In this course, we will introduce the essentials for doing phonetics of any language. We will start with a description of articulatory phonetics, with reference to the identification and classification of consonants and vowels. This will lead to a survey of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) whose symbols are a tool to assist the field phonetician in accurate and near-universal representation of sounds of a language. We will go over the use of Keyman phonetic software for incorporating IPA symbols into text easily, along with some simpler but less fluid alternatives. We will introduce Praat, a free program for phonetic analysis that can be run on any platform. At the end of the class, students who felt that they did not have a sense of what the sounds of language were like and how to deal with them should have a grasp of the basics and the means to learn more on their own.

Survey Methods

Instructors: Keren Rice & Mary Linn Course Time: 8:30am – 10:00am Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 302 Watson Library Planning is an essential part of language revitalization. Surveys, sometimes required by funding sources, are a tool for planning. Far beyond recording language status, surveys help us understand language use and attitudes that are too often pitfalls in revitalization efforts. In this workshop, we will discuss questions such as, what can we learn from a survey? How can surveys be used in revitalization? What different kinds of surveys are there? What kinds of questions should we ask? Who and how should it be given? What do we do with the results? The leaders will use Handbook 3: Conducting a Language Survey (from Awakening Our Languages: ILI Handbook Series) as a starting point for classroom discussions. Participants will be asked to work in groups to develop survey questions and give short surveys to each other to practice reading and presenting results. The goal is for participants to leave with a creative toolset for using surveys in their own communities or language programs.


Course syllabus (pdf) (rtf)


Instructors: Helen Aristar-Dry & Anthony Aristar Course Time: 10:15am – 11:45am Week 2: 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location: 419 Watson Library GIS (Geographic Information Systems) allow users to capture, store, integrate, manipulate, and display data related to positions on the Earth's surface. GIS enables linguists to build dynamic, detailed maps of their work. GIS can relate otherwise disparate data on the basis of common geography, revealing unseen patterns, relationships, and trends that are not easily visible in spreadsheets or statistical packages. This course will cover how to make linguistic GIS-ready maps from data and scanned maps. The course will discuss how to take GPS data and make maps from it, how to scan a map, register it in a map-making program like Global Mapper, and upload it to an appropriate map facility like LLMAP or Google Maps so it can be viewed on the web. It will discuss the main GIS formats, such as shape-files and geodatabases, as well as map layers and the art of organizing and displaying data on your map.


Instructor: Patrick Flor Course Time: 8:30am – 10:00am Week 1 & 2: XML will meet 19 - 22 June 2012; R will meet 25 - 28 June 2012 Meeting Location (for both Workshops): 419 Watson Library This workshop is an introduction to linguistic annotation and analysis with XML and R.

What is XML?

eXtensible Markup Language—an open standard for encoding and structuring information in text files. It is a simple yet generalizable format, suitable both for internal work and for publishing. XML is the format used by many linguistic corpora and software tools (e.g. Transcriber, ELAN, EXMARaLDA).

What is R?

R is “a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.” It encapsulates a number of statistical procedures and visualizations useful to linguists, * so that we can spend less time implementing analysis tools, and more time exploring our data and designing research questions. The workshop is in two parts, each one week long: 1) Introduction to XML. Our goal is to build a basic, functional knowledge of XML and related technologies (XPath, XSLT), in order to understand how we can structure our linguistic data for accessibility, analysis, and preservation. We will practice designing linguistic tagsets, tagging data, and interacting with it through simple queries. Participants are encouraged to bring along their own text data in order to make this exercise more relevant to their linguistic documentation and research projects. 2) XML and R. We will then learn how to design and ask more advanced questions about our data, by writing basic programs in R, a software tool for statistical analysis and visualization. No previous computer programming experience is assumed. Tools we will be using: R – (R is a free download, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.) oXygen – (this is not free software, but a trial license is available—please download the oXygen Editor software and sign up for a trial registration a few days before the workshop begins. Windows, Mac and Linux versions are available.) * No prior coursework in statistics is assumed for this workshop.

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