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LINGUIST List 16.1741

Fri Jun 03 2005

FYI: NSF Funding: Documenting Endangered Languages/DEL

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Ann Sawyer, NSF Funding: Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL)

Message 1: NSF Funding: Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL)
Date: 02-Jun-2005
From: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>
Subject: NSF Funding: Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL)

Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL)- An Interagency Partnership

This multi-year funding partnership between the National Science Foundation
(NSF) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) supports projects
to develop and advance knowledge concerning endangered human languages.
Made urgent by the imminent death of an estimated half of the 6000-7000
currently used human languages, this effort aims also to exploit advances
in information technology. Funding will support fieldwork and other
activities relevant to recording, documenting, and archiving endangered
languages, including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples,
and databases. Funding will be available in the form of one- to three-year
project grants as well as fellowships for up to twelve months. At least
half the available funding will be awarded to projects involving fieldwork.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Applicants for Fellowships (Applicants)
may propose projects to:

1. conduct fieldwork to record in digital audio and video format one or
more endangered languages;

2. carry out later stages of documentation including the preparation of
lexicons, grammars, text samples, and databases;

3. digitize and otherwise preserve and provide wider access to such
documentary materials, including previously collected materials and those
concerned with languages which have recently died and are related to
currently endangered languages;

4. further develop standards and databases to make this documentation of a
certain language or languages widely available in consistent, archivable,
interoperable, and Web-based formats;

5. conduct initial analysis of findings in the light of current linguistic

6. train native speakers in descriptive linguistics;

7. create other infrastructure, including workshops, to make the problem of
endangered languages more widely understood and more effectively addressed.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration
are subject to the availability of funds. However, it is expected that
about $2 million in funding will be available (approximately $1 million
from NSF and approximately $1 million from NEH). At least half of the
available funding will be awarded to projects involving fieldwork. Funding
will be available not only in the form of standard and continuing grants,
but also as fellowships.

PIs or Applicants may propose projects involving one or more of the above
activities. Proposed projects may range from a single investigator working
for six months to a group of investigators working for three years. DEL
gives the highest priority to projects that involve actually recording in
digital audio and video format endangered languages before they become extinct.


1. September 15, 2005 is the next deadline for proposals.

2. Proposers may submit only one proposal at this deadline.

3. A DEL Fellowship may not be used for pre-Ph.D. work.

4. A proposal's Title should use the three-letter SIL code to identify the
language(s) to be studied.

5. A proposal's Summary should identify the family of the language(s) to be

For full information including eligibility, awards, conditions, and
instructions for proposals, please visit:


Contact Information:

Joan Maling, Linguistics Program Director, Directorate for Social,
Behavioral & Economic Sciences, Division of Behavioral and Cognitive
Sciences, 995 N, telephone: (703) 292-8046, fax: (703) 292-9068, email:

Anna M. Kerttula, Arctic Social Sciences Program Director, Office of the
Director, Office of Polar Programs, 755 S, telephone: (703) 292-7432, fax:
(703) 292-9082, email: akerttulnsf.gov

Helen Aguera, Senior Program Officer, Preservation & Access, National
Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC,
20506, USA, telephone: (202) 606-8573, email: hagueraneh.gov

For general information about the agencies participating in this program,
The NSF http://www.nsf.gov/index.jsp
The NEH http://www.neh.gov/
The Smithsonian Institution http://www.si.edu/ and http://www.mnh.si.edu/

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
Computational Linguistics
Language Description

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