LINGUIST List 12.1293

Thu May 10 2001

Calls: Rosetta Project, Temporality/Discourse Context

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text.


  1. Jim Mason, New 1,000 Language Online Archive
  2. Tim Fernando, Temporality and Discourse Context

Message 1: New 1,000 Language Online Archive

Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 13:01:22 -0700
From: Jim Mason <>
Subject: New 1,000 Language Online Archive

Announcing the launch of The Rosetta Project 1,000 Language Online 
Archive at 
Call for text contribution and review comments.

The Rosetta Project is an attempt to create a broad corpus of language 
descriptions, vernacular texts, analytic materials and audio files for 
1,000 languages in a publicly accessible, online archive as well as on 
various extreme term storage media. The intention is to create a 
meaningful survey and near permanent archive of 1,000 languages as well 
as a unique platform for contemporary comparative linguistic research 
and education. For each language, we are collecting seven 
descriptive/analytic components.

- Detailed descriptions
- Glossed vernacular texts
- Orthographies
- Swadesh 100 word vocabulary lists
- Inventories of phonemes
- Morphology and Syntax sketches
- Translations of Genesis Ch 1-3
- Audio files with transcriptions

We are creating this broad language archive through an open 
contribution, open review process, similar to the strategy that created 
the Oxford English Dictionary. Though in this case, we hope the 
Internet speeds the process a little bit. . . ;-) And to help the 
process along, we are initiating collection efforts at Stanford 
Berkeley, Yale and SIL, as well as collaborations with various scholars 
of comparative and historical linguistics. 

As this is an open source project (a Linux of Linguistics), we need your 
help. We call on all language specialists, whether linguist, 
anthropologist, translator or interested native speaker, to contribute 
texts or provide review comments in their languages of expertise. To 
enable this collaboration, we have created an elaborate online working 
environment at, offering access to all the texts 
in our database, as well as providing various tools for text review, 
annotation and discussion.

To clarify, this project is not an attempt to orchestrate massive new
research on lesser documented languages. Rather, our intention is to 
develop a powerful, well tended platform to collect, preserve and make 
available the many riches of already completed descriptive linguistic 
work- work that is often difficult to access or rotting away in 
underfunded archives or in the file cabinets of our aging colleagues. 
We are starting with the above descriptive frame for each language, but 
hope to expand the list as new datasets or texts appear that need an 
online home. We have created the navigation and search environment. It 
is now yours to fill what that which interests you.

In the end, we hope this worldwide collaboration to create a new global 
"Rosetta Stone" will help draw attention to the tragedy of language 
extinction as well as speed the work to preserve what we have left of 
this critical manifestation of the human intellect.

Please visit us at We expect you will be 
pleased with what you find and hope you will join us for this very 
ambitious new initiative.

Jim Mason
Director, The Rosetta Project
Long Now Foundation
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Message 2: Temporality and Discourse Context

Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 08:46:21 +0100 (IST)
From: Tim Fernando <>
Subject: Temporality and Discourse Context


Temporality and Discourse Context: Dynamic and Modal Approaches
Dundee, Scotland, 30 July 2001 (co-located with CONTEXT '01)
Deadline EXTENDED to 28 May 2001

The aim of the workshop is to provide a forum for recent work on aspect, 
tense, and causality, and their relation to discourse context, conceived 
locally and globally. Reports are particularly encouraged of formal 
approaches from dynamic and modal perspectives that have proved useful 
in discourse-level semantics (information and discourse structure) and 
temporal semantic analyses of verbs, adverbs, nouns, quantification and 
intensionality. Logical and computational investigations of the role 
notions of event[uality] and/or situation play in shaping context (and 
interpretation) are solicited. 

We envisage a meeting with between 6 to 8 papers, from linguists, 
philosophers and cognitive/computer scientists working on formalization 
of dialogue, planning, knowledge representation, AI and computational 
Keynote Address: Mark Steedman, "The Productions of Time: causality in
 natural language tense and aspect" 
 Dorit Abusch, Cornell Alex Lascarides, Edinburgh
 David Beaver, Stanford Leora Morgenstern, New York
 Patrick Blackburn, Nancy Mark Steedman, Edinburgh 
 Tim Fernando, Dublin (organizer) Rich Thomason, Michigan
 Ruth Kempson, London Bonnie Webber, Edinburgh
Please email two-page abstracts (.ps, .pdf or ascii) to by May 28th (Monday). Notification can be 
expected before June 15th.
(Email workshop inquiries to Tim.) A special issue of Language and
Computation is projected, based on the workshop. 
Immediately after it, in Edinburgh, is the annual Cog Sci meeting (1-4 Aug).
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