ELL: Researcher/Intern Opportunity: Rosetta Project

Jim Mason jimmason at LONGNOW.ORG
Thu May 17 23:40:15 UTC 2001

Researcher/Intern opportunity:  The Rosetta Project 1,000 Language Archive

We are looking for linguistics students/professionals interested in helping
with archive research for The Rosetta Project 1,000 Language Archive.   The
Rosetta Project is an attempt to create a broad corpus of language
descriptions, vernacular texts, analytic materials and audio files for
1,000+ languages in a publicly accessible, online archive
(www.RosettaProject.org).  Our goal is to create a meaningful survey and
near permanent archive of 1,000 languages as well as a unique platform for
contemporary comparative linguistic research and education.

We are assembling a group of 5 researchers for the summer of 2001 to help
collect and assess a variety of materials to build the archive.   Most of
this research will take place in the stacks at Stanford and Berkeley as well
as scanning and image processing in the offices of the Long Now Foundation
in San Francisco.   Payment will be on a “pay-per-text” basis.  We pay $10
per text collected, which should work out to a minimum of $15 an hour.  If
you get efficient at the process, you can make significantly more.

Most of the materials in the Rosetta archive are excerpts of already
published texts so the collection effort focuses on locating, excepting and
formatting published materials in various archives and personal libraries.
We are excerpting and disseminating these materials under Fair Use
provisions where appropriate or with specific permission when we are
reproducing entire publications.

The texts we are collecting for each language are as follows:

- Genesis translations:  We have collected Genesis Ch 1-3 translations in
1,000 languages, most of which can be seen at www.rosettaproject.org.  We
invite more, but this component is mostly completed.

- Glossed vernacular texts:  A cultural specific counterpoint to the Genesis
text with an interlinear morphemic analysis.  We will substitute other
vernacular texts if a glossed origin story is unavailable or culturally

- Orthographies: The writing system(s) of the language with pronunciation
guide ideally in IPA.  Multiple or competing or historic orthographies are
especially encouraged.

- Swadesh word lists:  The Swadesh 100 word list.

- Inventories of phonemes.

- Morphology and Syntax:  Short sketches of 7 pages or under.  We do not
want full descriptive grammars.

- Audio files: Sample of spoken language with transcription and ideally a

- Detailed descriptions: Origin and current distribution of language, number
of speakers, family, typology, history, etc.  Descriptions that extend past
the current Ethnologue description for a language.

Though we are primarily looking for people to work in and around our office
in San Francisco, proposals to work in other archives in the US or around
the world will also be considered.   Off-site collection efforts will
likewise be paid via a “pay-per-text” basis and collections must focus on
materials needed for the Rosetta Archive.

For more information on the project, please see www.RosettaProject.org
and/or email jimmason at longnow.org

Thank you,

Jim Mason
Director, The Rosetta Project

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