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Conference Information

Full Title: ComputEL Workshop: The Use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages

Short Title: ComputEL
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Start Date: 26-Jun-2014 - 26-Jun-2014
Contact: Jeff Good
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Contemporary efforts to document the world's endangered languages—often going under the rubric of documentary linguistics—are dependent on the widespread availability of modern recording technologies, in particular digital audio and video recording devices and software to annotate the recordings that such devices produce. However, despite well over a decade of dedicated funding efforts aimed at the documentation of endangered languages, the technological landscape that supports the work of those involved in this work remains fragmented, and the promises of new technology remain largely unfulfilled. Moreover, the efforts of computer scientists, on the whole, are mostly disconnected from the day-to-day work of documentary linguists, making it difficult for the knowledge of each group to inform the other. On the one hand, this deprives documentary linguists of tools making use of the latest research results to speed up the time-consuming task of describing an underdocumented language. On the other hand, it severely limits the ability of computational linguists to test their methods on the full range of world's linguistic diversity.

This workshop seeks to address this state of affairs by bringing together papers exploring the use of computational methods to facilitate the documentation and study of endangered languages. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to: (i) examining the use of specific computational methods in the analysis of data from low-resource languages, with a focus on endangered languages, (ii) proposing new models for the collection and management of data in endangered language settings, and (iii) considering what concrete steps are required to allow for a more fruitful interaction between computer scientists and documentary linguists. The workshop's intention is not merely to allow for the presentation of research on these topics but also to help build a community of computational and documentary linguists who are able to effectively pair together to serve their common interests.

This workshop will be held as part of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL). Travel funding may be available for participants without access to funding from other sources. Please contact the organizer for further information.

Funding Possibilities:

This workshop is being supported by U.S. National Science Foundation Award no. 1404352. Through this award, and related sources, funding may be available for those with accepted papers to attend the workshop, especially students. Please contact Jeff Good ( for further information.
Linguistic Subfield: Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation
LL Issue: 25.690

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