REU Site: Building Digital Tools to Support Endangered Languages and Preserve Environmental Knowledge in Mexico, Micronesia, and Navajo Nation
Donor: National Science Foundation
Project Directors: K. David Harrison, Professor and Chair of Linguistics; Theodore Fernald, Professor of Linguistics; Brook Lillehaugen, Assistant Professor of Tri-College Linguistics
Award Date: 12/5/2014
The project facilitates collaborative research between indigenous linguists in the US academic community, Mexico, Micronesia, and the Navajo Nation. The project begins with a two-week intensive, hands-on training session. Students learn directly from professional linguists and indigenous language experts how to modernize, digitize, and expand endangered languages into new technological domains. In weeks three and four, students work in teams led by indigenous language experts to record basic and specialized lexica, folk taxonomies, toponyms, and ethno-biological nomenclature. They document the knowledge base in each language and learn current best practices in sustaining indigenous languages and supporting global language diversity.
Project Period: 5/1/2015 - 4/30/2018