Language Learning & Technology
Vol. 4, No. 1, May 2000

Call for Papers for Special Issue of LLT

Theme: Technology and Indigenous Languages

Guest Editor: Nicholas Ostler

The focus of this special issue of Language Learning & Technology is on the means, potential value, and dangers, of providing and using communications and information technology for languages that are mostly local in use.

  • What are the practical difficulties of providing systems in the current state of the art?
  • When systems are provided, what has been the main value to the individuals and communities who can use them?
  • Is there an effect on the way in which languages are used in smaller communities, and on their prospects for survival?
  • With the advent of speech processing and multimedia, what is the effect on the acquisition, and use of literacy?
  • Who are the major beneficiaries, both within the language communities, and outside, in the world of descriptive linguists, publishers, software producers and other businesses?
  • What are the immediate and longer-term effects, on a language community's economy, culture and overall health?
Manuscripts submitted for the special issue should either (a) report on original research or (b) present an original framework that links previous research, educational theory, and teaching practices.

Since the focus is on indigenous languages, English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and the major languages originating from Western Europe should not be the exclusive focus of any papers. However, multilingual issues which involve these languages with others less widely spoken might be very relevant. And economic development of a language, rather than speaker population, is the crucial determinant: so considerations in providing technology for Punjabi or Javanese also fall within our sphere of interest. But no less would we discount the cases of Caucasian or Papuan villages.

Since the publication is Language Learning & Technology, the work discussed should have a relevance to language learning, but this would include second as well as foreign language acquisition.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • character codes: standards and dissemination
  • corpus building, annotation and exploitation
  • practical lexicography
  • roles for speech processing, both recognition and generation
  • effective use of video and multimedia
  • multilingual transfer
  • effects of IT communication on communities in diaspora
  • language technology as a means of documentation
  • culture clashes, at the level of linguist, language learner or ambient community
Please e-mail an abstract of no more than 500 words, by 31 August 2000, to:
Nicholas Ostler nostler@chibcha.demon.co.uk

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