The Gyalsumdo Language Archive: Have a Look!
Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt and URCA Assistant Tiffany Downing have been working to upload and encode content and also technical and thematic metadata for several transcribed and translated videos of the Gyalsumdo language, a highly endangered variety of the Tibetan language spoken in central Nepal. These videos were recorded by SIUE Geography professor Shunfu Hu (with help from Dr. Hildebrandt’s fieldwork team) in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in Nepal. These videos will be permanently stored, and publicly available in a special archive at the University of Virginia’s Tibetan and Himalayan Library, specifically from their SHANTI platform (Sciences, Humanities and Arts Network of Technical Initiatives). Dr. Hildebrandt plans to archive with THL and SHANTI similar materials from three other languages of the same region of Nepal: Manange, Gurung and Nar-Phu.
Wailaki Language to Live On Through Digitizing Initiative
Victor Golla is a professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies at Humboldt State University in California who also specializes in Athabaskan (Native American) languages. According to the university newspaper “Humboldt State Now” he is working there with undergraduate students (through their own URCA program) to digitize hundred year-old field notes on the Wailaki language. Wailaki is a language that is essentially extinct, save for a few people who wish to re-learn their language from these notes. Dr. Golla and his research team view digitization as a solution to problems such as longevity and preservation of rare, valuable (and fragile) language material, availability to learners across a wide geographic range, and the possibility to annotate and edit the original observations on this language in an interactive and online dimension. As Dr. Golla notes in this article : “Documents are not language; they just document it … [but](p)eople could create a new use — a revitalization — of Wailaki from these notebooks.”