Books: Developing Orthographies for Unwritten Languages: Cahill, Rice (Eds)
Editor for this issue: Justin Petro
Date: 05-Feb-2014 From: Jim Shephard <publications_intlsil.org> Subject: Developing Orthographies for Unwritten Languages: Cahill, Rice (Eds) E-mail this message to a friend
Title: Developing Orthographies for Unwritten Languages
Series Title: Publications in Language Use and Education #6
Publisher: SIL International Publications
Editor: Michael Cahill
Editor: Keren Rice
Paperback: ISBN: 9781556713477 Pages: 275 Price: U.S. $ 44.95
While investigating endangered languages, many researchers become interested in developing literacy for these languages. However, often their linguistic training has not provided practical guidance in this area. This book, with contributions by experienced practitioners, helps fill this gap.
Both foundational theory and specific case studies are addressed in this work. Non-linguistic factors are described, particularly sociolinguistic issues that determine acceptability of orthographies. A principled approach to the level of phonological representation for orthographies is proposed, applying recent phonological theory. The thorny issues of how to determine word breaks and how to mark tone in an orthography are explored. "Overly hasty orthographies" and the benefits of allowing time for an orthography to settle are discussed.
Principles of the foundational chapters are further exemplified by detailed case studies from Mexico, Peru, California, Nepal, and Southeast Asia, which vividly illustrate the variety of local conditions that must be taken into account.
The combination of theoretical and practical makes this book unique. It will benefit those involved in helping establish orthographies for hitherto-unwritten languages, and provide concrete guidance through crucial issues.
Michael Cahill (Ph.D. 1999, Ohio State University) developed the Konni orthography in Ghana. He was SIL's International Linguistics Coordinator for eleven years, and is on the LSA's Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation.
Keren Rice (Ph.D. 1976, University of Toronto) helped standardize the orthography of Slavey, and has taught on orthography development at InField/CoLang. She was LSA President in 2012 and is currently University Professor at the University of Toronto.
Discipline of Linguistics