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Books > Language and Literature > Language Documentation Handbook (Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages)
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Language Documentation Handbook (Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages)
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Language Documentation Handbook (Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages)
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Description
Foreword

It is widely agreed among the scholars that almost half of the world's languages are endangered because of several linguistic and non-linguistic reasons. Factually language death cannot be stopped but it can be slowed down by the collective effort of the community, linguists, policy makers and institutions that are committed to maintain the diversity of languages. Being a premier institute to work on Indian Languages, the Central Institute of Indian Languages conceived a distinct project ‘Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages' (SPPEL) in 2013 with an aim to document and describe around 520 endangered and lesser known languages of India before their extinction.

The scholars who were already working on the documentation of endangered languages in India long ago felt a lack of comprehensive documentation handbook focusing on the documentation of Indian languages. After the commencement of the project, SPPEL started working in this direction to fulfil the need. Now the SPPEL team has come up with a Language Documentation Handbook which has been reviewed by the renowned scholars in this field and revised according to their wise comments.

The Language Documentation Handbook is an open ended questionnaire which can serve as a tool for data collection in the fieldwork on languages and modified according to the needs of the researcher. It covers some theoretical topics like language attitude, fieldwork ethics, methodology, word and sentence list as well as some technical topics like selection of equipment and software, data annotation, dictionary format, etc. In brief, it will not only help a researcher to bring out an electronic dictionary, a grammar and an ethno-linguistic profile of the community but also helps in developing digital archive if the technical instructions are followed properly.

I congratulate the SPPEL team for bringing out the first publication of the project and I assure that the users of this Language Documentation Handbook will find it an excellent tool in documenting endangered languages. I wish the SPPEL team a good luck.

Introduction

1.1. Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) .

Galvanized by the grim situation of lesser known languages in the country, the Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) was instituted by Ministry of Human Resource Development (Government of India) in 2013. The Scheme aims to document those languages and varieties which are not spoken by the younger generation and are at the verge of getting extinct. The primary aim of the scheme is to digitally document and archive linguistic and ethno-linguistic aspects of the endangered languages of India. It has three major goals namely, to produce a tri-lingual dictionary, a basic grammar and an ethno-linguistic profile of community. The scheme is implemented by Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) located in Mysore, Karnataka. The CIIL has collaborated with various universities and institutes across India involving linguists, folklorists and language archivers for this mission.

The documentation and the description task are distributed across six geographical zones:

a. Andaman & Nicobar

b. East Central Zone

c. North-East Zone

d. Northern Zone

e. Southern Zone

f. West-Central Zone

For the current phase, the committee evolved the following criteria to identify the languages to be studied on priority basis.

a. The languages/mother tongues which are spoken by less than 10 thousand people.

b. The list of languages that appeared in the Ethnologue (16th edition) under 6a with less than 10 thousand speakers.

c. The list of languages given by the UNESCO under critically endangered.

d. The mother tongues/languages on which no prior work/research has been done.

On the basis of the above criteria, the SPPEL has identified 109 languages/mother tongues to be studied during the current phase of the scheme. The scheme will also include other languages which are spoken by more than 10,000 speakers keeping in mind the degree of endangerment and reducing domains of usage. The project aims to document 520 endangered languages/mother tongues of India in the near future.

1.2. SPPEL documentation handbook

The SPPEL Documentation Handbook is prepared as a helping tool to elicit data of the endangered languages of India. Investigators must note that word lists and sentence lists given in this handbook are not exhaustive but indicative. Certain concepts/words that are available in one community may not be available in other communities. It is possible that none of the vocabularies, for instance, in the domain of Education may be available in certain languages. Every section of the questionnaire has a brief introduction which should be read very carefully by the investigator before going to the field.

The present questionnaire aims to collect data for the following purposes:

a. For archiving the words, sentences and ethno-linguistic features of endangered languages in digital format (for long lasting multi-purpose).

b. For preparation of a tri-lingual dictionary.

c. For preparation of a sketch grammar of the language/mother- tongue.

d. For studying indigenous knowledge system of the concerned community and their world view.

e. For studying socio-linguistic aspects such as domains of language use, attitudes towards mother tongue and other tongue etc.

1.3. Language documentation

A significant part of language preservation can be done through language documentation. Language documentation is defined as "a field of linguistic inquiry and practice in its own right which is primarily concerned with the compilation and preservation of linguistic primary data and interfaces between primary data and various types of analysis based on these data" (Himmelmann 2006). SPPEL investigators should keep in mind that language documentation mainly focuses on primary data, which not only includes audio and video recordings of the linguistic data but also field notes and written documents of the speech community. It should also contain ethno-linguistic knowledge of the community.

As language documentation aims to create a long lasting, multi-purpose record of the linguistic data, it is important to store the data in a systematic manner so that it can be easily retrieved for further studies. For this purpose, metadata (see section) should always be created so that the linguistic data can be arranged and stored in a systematic way.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











Language Documentation Handbook (Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages)

Item Code:
NAV913
Cover:
PAPERBACK
Edition:
2016
ISBN:
9788173431814
Language:
English
Size:
9.50 X 7.00 inch
Pages:
186 (10 b/w Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.38 Kg
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$31.00   Shipping Free
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Foreword

It is widely agreed among the scholars that almost half of the world's languages are endangered because of several linguistic and non-linguistic reasons. Factually language death cannot be stopped but it can be slowed down by the collective effort of the community, linguists, policy makers and institutions that are committed to maintain the diversity of languages. Being a premier institute to work on Indian Languages, the Central Institute of Indian Languages conceived a distinct project ‘Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages' (SPPEL) in 2013 with an aim to document and describe around 520 endangered and lesser known languages of India before their extinction.

The scholars who were already working on the documentation of endangered languages in India long ago felt a lack of comprehensive documentation handbook focusing on the documentation of Indian languages. After the commencement of the project, SPPEL started working in this direction to fulfil the need. Now the SPPEL team has come up with a Language Documentation Handbook which has been reviewed by the renowned scholars in this field and revised according to their wise comments.

The Language Documentation Handbook is an open ended questionnaire which can serve as a tool for data collection in the fieldwork on languages and modified according to the needs of the researcher. It covers some theoretical topics like language attitude, fieldwork ethics, methodology, word and sentence list as well as some technical topics like selection of equipment and software, data annotation, dictionary format, etc. In brief, it will not only help a researcher to bring out an electronic dictionary, a grammar and an ethno-linguistic profile of the community but also helps in developing digital archive if the technical instructions are followed properly.

I congratulate the SPPEL team for bringing out the first publication of the project and I assure that the users of this Language Documentation Handbook will find it an excellent tool in documenting endangered languages. I wish the SPPEL team a good luck.

Introduction

1.1. Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) .

Galvanized by the grim situation of lesser known languages in the country, the Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) was instituted by Ministry of Human Resource Development (Government of India) in 2013. The Scheme aims to document those languages and varieties which are not spoken by the younger generation and are at the verge of getting extinct. The primary aim of the scheme is to digitally document and archive linguistic and ethno-linguistic aspects of the endangered languages of India. It has three major goals namely, to produce a tri-lingual dictionary, a basic grammar and an ethno-linguistic profile of community. The scheme is implemented by Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) located in Mysore, Karnataka. The CIIL has collaborated with various universities and institutes across India involving linguists, folklorists and language archivers for this mission.

The documentation and the description task are distributed across six geographical zones:

a. Andaman & Nicobar

b. East Central Zone

c. North-East Zone

d. Northern Zone

e. Southern Zone

f. West-Central Zone

For the current phase, the committee evolved the following criteria to identify the languages to be studied on priority basis.

a. The languages/mother tongues which are spoken by less than 10 thousand people.

b. The list of languages that appeared in the Ethnologue (16th edition) under 6a with less than 10 thousand speakers.

c. The list of languages given by the UNESCO under critically endangered.

d. The mother tongues/languages on which no prior work/research has been done.

On the basis of the above criteria, the SPPEL has identified 109 languages/mother tongues to be studied during the current phase of the scheme. The scheme will also include other languages which are spoken by more than 10,000 speakers keeping in mind the degree of endangerment and reducing domains of usage. The project aims to document 520 endangered languages/mother tongues of India in the near future.

1.2. SPPEL documentation handbook

The SPPEL Documentation Handbook is prepared as a helping tool to elicit data of the endangered languages of India. Investigators must note that word lists and sentence lists given in this handbook are not exhaustive but indicative. Certain concepts/words that are available in one community may not be available in other communities. It is possible that none of the vocabularies, for instance, in the domain of Education may be available in certain languages. Every section of the questionnaire has a brief introduction which should be read very carefully by the investigator before going to the field.

The present questionnaire aims to collect data for the following purposes:

a. For archiving the words, sentences and ethno-linguistic features of endangered languages in digital format (for long lasting multi-purpose).

b. For preparation of a tri-lingual dictionary.

c. For preparation of a sketch grammar of the language/mother- tongue.

d. For studying indigenous knowledge system of the concerned community and their world view.

e. For studying socio-linguistic aspects such as domains of language use, attitudes towards mother tongue and other tongue etc.

1.3. Language documentation

A significant part of language preservation can be done through language documentation. Language documentation is defined as "a field of linguistic inquiry and practice in its own right which is primarily concerned with the compilation and preservation of linguistic primary data and interfaces between primary data and various types of analysis based on these data" (Himmelmann 2006). SPPEL investigators should keep in mind that language documentation mainly focuses on primary data, which not only includes audio and video recordings of the linguistic data but also field notes and written documents of the speech community. It should also contain ethno-linguistic knowledge of the community.

As language documentation aims to create a long lasting, multi-purpose record of the linguistic data, it is important to store the data in a systematic manner so that it can be easily retrieved for further studies. For this purpose, metadata (see section) should always be created so that the linguistic data can be arranged and stored in a systematic way.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











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