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LINGUIST List 22.3045

Thu Jul 28 2011

FYI: Funding for Documenting Endangered Languages

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <brentlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Joan Maling , Funding for Documenting Endangered Languages

Message 1: Funding for Documenting Endangered Languages
Date: 28-Jul-2011
From: Joan Maling <jmalingnsf.gov>
Subject: Funding for Documenting Endangered Languages
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Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL)
Data, Infrastructure and Computational Methods

Program Solicitation:
NSF 11-554

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 06-577

Due Dates:

Full Proposal Deadline Date: September 20, 2011
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
September 20, 2011
September 15, 2012
September 15, Annually Thereafter

Synopsis of Program:

This funding partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and
the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) supports projects to
develop and advance knowledge concerning endangered human languages. Made
urgent by the imminent death of roughly half of the approximately 7000
currently used languages, this effort aims to exploit advances in
information technology to build computational infrastructure for endangered
language research. The program supports projects that contribute to data
management and archiving, and to the development of the next generation of
researchers. Funding can support fieldwork and other activities relevant to
the digital recording, documenting, and archiving of endangered languages,
including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples, and
databases. Funding will be available in the form of one- to three-year
project grants as well as fellowships for up to twelve months and doctoral
dissertation research improvement grants for up to 24 months.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Applicants for Fellowships (Applicants)
may propose projects involving one or more of the following three emphasis

1. Language Description
To conduct fieldwork to record in digital audio and video format one or
more endangered languages; to carry out the early stages of language
documentation including transcription and annotation; to carry out later
stages of documentation including the preparation of lexicons, grammars,
text samples, and databases; to conduct initial analysis of findings in the
light of current linguistic theory.

2. Infrastructure
To digitize and otherwise preserve and provide wider access to such
documentary materials, including previously collected materials and those
concerned with languages which have recently died and are related to
currently endangered languages; to create other infrastructure, including
workshops and conferences to make the problem of endangered languages more
widely understood and more effectively addressed.

3. Computational Methods
To further develop standards and databases to make this documentation of a
certain language or languages widely available in consistent, archiveable,
interoperable, and Web-based formats; to develop computational tools for
endangered languages, which present an additional challenge for statistical
tools (taggers, grammar induction tools, parsers, etc.) since they do not
have the large corpora for training and testing the models used to develop
those tools; to develop new approaches to building computational tools for
endangered languages, based on deeper knowledge of linguistics, language
typology and families, which require collaboration between theoretical and
field linguists and computational linguists (computer scientists).

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; General Linguistics; Language Documentation

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