Vance's CALL resources page | esl_home index
Return to Papyrus News Archive Main Page

Papyrus News

CFP: Technology and Indigenous Languages


June 17, 2000: This message was distributed by Papyrus News, a free e-mail distribution list on the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For information on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.


Call for Papers

Special Issue of Language and Language Learning Technology

Technology and Indigenous Languages

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, major international languages such as English, French, and Chinese should not be the exclusive focus of any papers. However, multilingual issues which involve these languages with others less widely spoken might be 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 and 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 <>

Language Learning and Technology is published exclusively on the World Wide Web. You may see current or back issues, and take out your free subscription, at

Use your browser's BACK button to return to a previous page

For comments, suggestions, or further information on this site, contact Vance Stevens, webmaster. Regarding content of Papyrus-News, contact Mark Warschauer.

Last updated: July 15, 2000 in Word 2000