Endangered Languages Project
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The Endangered Languages Project (ELP) is a worldwide collaboration between indigenous language organizations, linguists, institutions of higher education, and key industry partners to strengthen endangered languages. The foundation of the project is a website, which launched in June 2012.
The ELP was launched in June 2012 with the intention of being a "comprehensive, up-to-date source of information on the endangered languages of the world" according to the director of the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), Lyle Campbell, a professor of Linguistics in the Mānoa College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature. He expressed that the "... Catalogue is needed to support documentation and revitalization of endangered languages, to inform the public and scholars, to aid members of groups whose languages are in peril, and to call attention to the languages most critically in need of conservation.”
There were four founding partners who oversaw the website’s development and launch:
- First Peoples' Cultural Council
- Eastern Michigan University
- University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
- Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm.
The goals of the ELP are to foster exchange of information related to at-risk languages and accelerate endangered language research and documentation, to support communities engaged in protecting or revitalizing their languages. Users of the website play an active role in putting their languages online by submitting information or samples in the form of text, audio, links or video files. Once uploaded to the website, users can tag their submissions by resource category to ensure they are easily searchable. Current resource categories include:
- Language Research and Linguistics
- Language Revitalization
- Language Materials
- Language Education
- Language Advocacy and Awareness
- Language, Culture and Art
- Language and Technology
Languages included on the website and the information displayed about them are provided by the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), developed by the linguistics departments at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and Eastern Michigan University. Users are encouraged to verify and update existing ELCat information, such as statistics and background information for a language they have in-depth knowledge about by offering suggested improvements via an online form. This means that the languages included on the website and the information presented about them is intended to change over time, as the status of languages changes and information about those languages improves.
Background and personnel
An active Governance Council with delegates from the United States, Canada, Australia, India, Cameroon and the Netherlands is responsible for management of the website, oversight of outreach efforts and long-term planning for the project. In addition to the governing organizations listed above, a global coalition of organizations working to strengthen and preserve endangered languages is forming through the website. This group is known as the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity.
- "Google partners with UH Manoa linguists on endangered languages project". University of Hawaiʻi. 2012-06-12. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- "ELP Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
- The Endangered Languages Project: Supporting language preservation through technology and collaboration. Google Blog, June 20, 2012. https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/endangered-languages-project-supporting.html. Accessed 2016-09-22.
- Kazi Stastna (2012-06-26). "New Google site aims to save endangered languages". CBC News.
- Campbell, Lyle; Belew, Anna (2017). Cataloguing the World's Endangered Languages. London: Routledge.
- About the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity. Online: http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/about/#about_alliance. Accessed 2016-09-23.