(Fwd) ELL: The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at
Mon Jul 8 14:36:14 UTC 2002

Dear Uralists,

forwarded (with usual apologies for cross-postings), information about a new research programme to fund the documentation of endangered languages. Please feel free to distribute this message to anybody interested; more information will obviously be posted on Endangered-Languages-List (and reposted to URA-LIST) later this year.


johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at


info at eldp.soas.ac.uk wrote:

> Please find below outline details of a new research programme for the
> documentation of Endangered Languages.
> Initial announcement
> The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme
> A.   A new research programme for the documentation of endangered languages.
> There is a very strong prospect that a private foundation will initiate a
> programme of grants to support the documentation of endangered languages,
> and appoint the School of Oriental & African Studies, London University
> [SOAS] to administer the scheme.  The prospective Invitation to Apply, which
> is likely to be disseminated in late August, will contain full guidelines
> and contact details for any further inquiries.  In the interim, no further
> details will be made available and prospective applicants are requested to
> avoid contacting SOAS with inquiries.
> The purpose of this announcement is to indicate the rationale of the
> putative programme and enable potential applicants to begin considering the
> details of their possible proposals.
> B.  Rationale.
> The rationale of such a programme will be familiar to potential applicants:
> the pace at which languages are becoming extinct is increasing throughout
> the world.  Furthermore, since only about one-third of the world’s languages
> have literate traditions, the vast majority of languages which die will
> leave no substantial record of themselves, or the cultural traditions that
> they have sustained.  Quite apart from the loss of individual cultural
> expressions, this process reflects a grave diminution in human and cultural
> diversity and a loss of the knowledge on which they are based and which they
> embody.
> The objective of the proposed programme would be twofold:  to encourage the
> development of linguistic fieldwork in endangered languages, especially by
> younger scholars with a grounding in linguistic theory, who will thereby
> also be provided with support between basic graduate work and the assumption
> of university positions; and to support the documentation of as many
> threatened languages as possible, focused on where the danger of extinction
> is greatest, facilitating the preservation of culture and knowledge, and
> creating repositories of data for the linguistic and social sciences, and of
> course for indigenous communities. Such documentation should, therefore,
> have regard not only to the formal content and structure of languages, but
> also to the varied social and cultural contexts within which languages are
> used.  In addition to the intellectual quality of applications, principal
> grounds for support will be the degree of endangerment and the urgency of
> the issues.
> C.  Applications.
> Applications will be invited from researchers  - who might include suitably
> qualified research students or postdoctoral candidate, as well as senior and
> established academics  - with qualifications in and, ideally, experience of
> field linguistics.  It is anticipated that all applicants will have, or will
> have developed in advance of funding, a formal link with (preferably an
> established position in) a university or comparable research institution.
> The core of the programme will probably be grants to support more or less
> elaborate projects for the documentation of individual or closely related
> endangered languages, involving one or more researchers and receiving
> support for up to three or, in exceptional circumstances four, years.
> However, individuals (including suitably qualified research students and
> postdoctoral fellows) may apply for grants.
> In the first instance applicants will be expected to submit a relatively
> brief Summary Proposal Form.  These will be assessed and those, which appear
> to conform to the programme’s expectations as to importance and quality,
> will be invited to submit a more detailed application.
> It is anticipated that in this first ‘round’ the date for submission of
> Summary Proposals will be mid-October 2002; invitations to submit detailed
> applications will be despatched in late November 2002; and the closing date
> for detailed applications will be early January 2003.
> Detailed applications will have to conform to a variety of standards
> (including ethical and technical standards), which will be specified in the
> formal Invitation to Apply some time in late August.  Meanwhile, potential
> applicants are requested not to contact SOAS.
> ----
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> Web pages http://cleo.murdoch.edu.au/lists/endangered-languages-l/
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