LINGUIST List 13.1862

Sun Jul 7 2002

All: Language Query Room Advisory Board

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Doug Whalen, Language Query Room Advisory Board

Message 1: Language Query Room Advisory Board

Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 15:58:35 -0400
From: Doug Whalen <>
Subject: Language Query Room Advisory Board

 The Endangered Language Fund, along with the Linguist List, is 
creating a new function for language communities and linguists called 
the Language Query Room (LQR). This effort is being funded by a 
grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). This note is 
to give you a preview of the LQR and to ask for volunteers for an 
advisory board of native speakers.
 The LQR will be a space where questions about how to say things 
in different endangered languages can be posted. Someone who needs 
to have a form translated, typically a language learner or a 
linguist, will post a query via a form at the LQR site. An automatic 
email will be sent to everyone who has registered an interest in that 
language. If a native speaker feels like responding, they will use a 
similar form on the site, and everyone on that language's list will 
be informed that new material is present. We hope to have both text 
(in the native orthography) and audio supported. All of the material 
will be archived for future searching. 
 Our current plan is to recognize the contribution of the native 
speaker volunteers as official "Language Consultants." They will have 
their status listed as such on LQR, and a brief biography will be 
posted (if desired). The primary motivation is the interest in the 
language and the desire to see it more widely recognized by allowing 
progress to be made on it outside of the field. We are also hoping 
to have an endangered language chat room, which would allow speakers 
of the designated languages to converse with each other, with the 
only "cost" being to have the discussions archived. We will have a 
pop-up keyboard that will make input of unusual orthographies much 
simpler (we hope), for those languages that have such an orthography.
 As we work on the design of the LQR, we want to make it as 
useful to the native communities as possible. To help with that 
effort, we are assembling an advisory board, composed of speakers of 
endangered languages. We would like to invite any who qualify to 
contact us about joining the board. The criteria are:
 * Is a native speaker of and endangered language (since we 
already have the viewpoint of the professional linguist well 
 * Has email and internet access (since the LQR will only exist 
on the web, and the advisory board will only have virtual meetings by 
 * Is fluent in English (since the membership is intended to be 
world-wide and those of us on the grant have only English as an 
 * Is able to spend a few hours over the next year reading email 
and contributing an opinion about the best way to make the LQR 
function (the time demands are small and on an email schedule rather 
than a phone or meeting schedule).
 We are putting out this initial request over relevant lists 
(Linguist and Endangered Languages), but if you know of someone who 
meets the criteria and is not on these lists, please forward it to 
them so that we can find the largest pool of candidates possible.
 Those who do not meet these criteria but who have comments about 
the LQR are welcome to contact us as well, at the email addresses 
 We hope to have a functioning site up this year. The LQR will, 
with luck, expand the range of language material that is used in 
linguistic theorizing and enhance the stature of the endangered 
languages in the process.
 We look forward to hearing from all interested parties, and we 
will announce the LQR itself as soon as it is available.
 Durbin Feeling (Cherokee), Chair, LQR Advisory Board <>
 Douglas H. Whalen, President, Endangered Language Fund 
Doug Whalen (
Haskins Laboratories
270 Crown St.
New Haven, CT 06511
203-865-6163, ext. 234
FAX: 203-865-8963
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