Call for Participation: Siouan Dictionaries Roundtable

voorhis at voorhis at
Wed Apr 23 13:06:04 UTC 2008

I was working on a 100+ page vocabulary of Catawba compiled from
published sources before I retired 11 years ago, and would be
interested in attending this roundtable session.  However, I was born
in America, and though I am a Canadian citizen with a valid Canadian
passport, American law requires me to use an American passport within
the US wherever a passport is required.  The many Americans who
resisted buying a passport last year to come to a scheduled Siouan
Conference in Saskatoon, with the result that the conference was
cancelled, will understand my reluctance to pay for a second passport
so as to attend the Siouan Conference in Joplin.


Catherine Rudin wrote:
> Call for Participation:  Siouan Dictionaries Roundtable Siouan and
> Caddoan Conference Joplin, MO, June 20-21 2008
> This year's Siouan and Caddoan Conference will include a roundtable
>  session on making dictionaries of Siouan languages:  pitfalls, 
> successful practices, projects in progress, helpful hints, deeper
> issues of purpose and philosophy.
> Your participation in this session is invited on two levels:
> (1) If you would like an official spot on the program to give a
> brief presentation on your own dictionary project, please get in
> touch with me as soon as possible. Catherine Rudin:
> carudin1(at) As of now there are two presentations
> scheduled, one on the recently completed Hocank dictionary (Iren
> Hartmann) and one on the newly-funded, about-to-begin Omaha and
> Ponca dictionary (Mark Awkuni-Swetland, Catherine Rudin, Rory
> Larson).  We'd welcome additional presentations. 
> Description/demonstration of any Siouan-language dictionary or 
> dictionary project, at any stage of completion, would be
> appropriate. Depending on interest we'll adjust the time per
> project and if necessary split into a couple of sessions.
> (2) We are counting on lots of audience participation - the main
> point of the panel, at least from my perspective, is to pick the
> collective brain of the Siouan linguistic community, so those of us
> just embarking on dictionary projects can benefit from all the
> expertise out there. Calling it a "roundtable" is meant to suggest
> dialogue rather than lectures.  To this end it would be great if
> everyone would think about issues involved in constructing a
> dictionary beforehand and bring in ideas, questions, answers,
> examples to show.  We might even try to come up with a list of
> issues in advance, as a kind of agenda guide for the open
> discussion portion of the session.
> Just to get the conversation going, here's a possible starter list.
>  Feel free to add (or subtract, combine, or modify).
> -What information should dictionary entries include? -What kinds of
> "front matter" are useful, essential, expendable? (grammar sketch,
> pronunciation guide, frequency lists, ...) -Grammar issues:  how to
> best cover things like verb conjugation, allomorphy, etc.  What
> grammatical categories need to be labelled? Do roots, prefixes,
> suffixes get separate entries, or do only whole words get listed? 
> -Alphabetization:  Does "ch" come after all of the "c" words, or
> between ce and ci?  (are ch, sh, th etc. "letters" for purposes of 
> alphabetization?  What about long vowels?  What to do about
> alternative orthographies? -User-friendliness issues: what is it
> important to think about for various types of users (linguists,
> tribe members, language students, non-specialist public, etc.) 
> -What makes a good example sentence?  How many should be included? 
> -Cultural information?  How much to include, and how? -Tech issues:
> what are the best software/protocols to use, and why? What about
> linking sound files, pictures, etc.? -Electronic vs. paper
> dictionaries (how do desiderata or possibilities for database vs.
> printed version vs. web-based version differ?; what kind of field
> structure is necessary in order to include all needed information
> for all three?) -Pitfalls to avoid.
> Looking forward to seeing many of you in Joplin, and to hearing
> your insights! Catherine

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