LINGUIST List 15.2006

Tue Jul 6 2004

FYI: The EMELD Language Query Room

Editor for this issue: Anne Clarke <>


  1. Doug Whalen, The EMELD Language Query Room

Message 1: The EMELD Language Query Room

Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2004 15:43:09 -0400
From: Doug Whalen <>
Subject: The EMELD Language Query Room

The EMELD Language Query Room
The Endangered Language Fund (, as part
of the EMELD grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation
(, is pleased to announce the availability of The
Language Query Room at:
Development of the site has been accomplished by the Rosetta Project
( under the direction of Jim Mason.
Organization and launching has been done by Lameen Souag at Rosetta.
Original design was due to Doug Whalen of the Endangered Language
The Query Room is a part of the internet that is designed to:
	* Allow speakers of endangered languages a chance to post 
	 messages to each other
	* Allow learners of a language (especially heritage learners) 
	 to ask questions of native speakers of endangered languages
 	* Allow linguists and other interested folk to ask questions 
	 as well
The Query Room is divided into areas devoted to various endangered
languages. Each area has a host, who is typically a native speaker of
the language. Anyone interested in the Language Query Room can
register for free; no outside use will be made of any information
registered. Then, the user can sign up for as many languages as are
of interest. Registering for a language means that the user can post
a query and it will be seen by everyone signed up for that language.
Further, any time a new posting is made, an email will be sent to
everyone on that list. If a native speaker feels like answering, then
the answer will be posted and an announcement sent out. All postings
are archived and will be available to users indefinitely.

Languages that have unusual orthographies will be able to make use of
our pop-up keypad. This Unicode compliant keypad can adapt to many
scripts, including Cyrillic, Arabic and Cherokee. Chinese and
Japanese are not currently supported. The Query Room also supports
audio files, allowing easy uploads and playback. The languages
currently with rooms are: Ainu, Akha, Basque, Cherokee, Cree, Degema,
Kumi�i, Eastern Oromo, Hmar, Nafusi, Miami, Manx, Monguor, Navajo,
Hiri Motu.

Our hope is that this room will allow for greater communication among
native speakers who might be separated by large distances, and for the
easier learning of these languages by those who are interested in
them. As open forums, these areas should be used with respect, and
the expertise of the native speakers should not be overtaxed. Asking
how to say half a dozen sentences is a query; asking how to say 200
connected sentences is a translation and should not be done in this
All you need is a browser such as Internet Explorer (version 6.0 or
higher is best), and an interest in endangered languages. This is a
new program, so there are probably going to be some features that need
fixing, but we hope that you will find the facility of some use.
Point your browser to and see if your
favorite (or native!) language is there. If it's not, please consider
becoming a host for a new room. We are quite happy to add new rooms
as we find hosts for them. Contact
For those of you who work with endangered languages whose speakers
have internet access but who will probably not see this message, we
would appreciate your help in spreading the word.
Your comments and reactions are also welcome. Please write us at .
Doug Whalen (
Haskins Laboratories
270 Crown St.
New Haven, CT 06511
203-865-6163, ext. 234
FAX: 203-865-8963

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