CoLang2018 Workshop Descriptions

Here you will find brief descriptions of the workshops that will be offered at the 2018 CoLang Institute at the University of Florida (listed in alphabetical order). This page will be updated regularly. Please check back often.


Audio 1 (Instructors: Toshihide Nakayama, Yoshi Ono)

Attention! If you have audio recorders, mics, etc, please bring them with you as only a limited number of recording devices will be available on-site.

This course is for absolute beginners who have not made recordings using digital recorders. It is one of the courses you need in order to undertake language documentation. Audio recording is the backbone of most language documentation and language maintenance projects. In this hands-on workshop, we will cover principles of making and editing audio recordings. Questions addressed include: How do I make a clean recording? How do I get the recording into a computer, chop it up, and save it for posterity? How do I keep track of all the recordings I have? What sorts of free software is available to edit audio? What is the best, most durable gear that won’t break the bank? The list of topics to be covered will be adjusted depending on the needs of the workshop participants. Materials covered in this workshop, with further practice, should prepare participants to undertake documentation work.


Audio 2 (Instructors: Toshihide Nakayama, Yoshi Ono)

Attention! If you have audio recorders, mics, etc, please bring them with you as only a limited number of recording devices will be available on-site.

This is a workshop intended for people who have projects that require advanced techniques in audio recording, processing, and archiving.  You don’t need this course unless you have special needs and a specific set of problems that you need help with. We will not give lectures on a fixed set of topics; You need to propose topics which you would like us to go over with you. The classes, therefore, will take the form of group consultation sessions. The following is a list of possible topics to be covered in this workshop:

  •       Audio recording device specifications (recorders, microphones, and peripherals)
  •       Microphone placement under a variety of recording conditions
  •       Internet-based transcription techniques
  •       Digitization of legacy analog recordings
  •       Shopping for audio equipment for full documentation projects

The organization of the workshop is kept flexible so that we can respond to the needs of the participants.  Depending on the size of the enrollment, we might organize consultation sessions targeted at individual projects. Given the needs-driven format of this workshop, it would be most useful for the participants to bring well-defined projects or project ideas involving audio materials, and/or specific needs involving audio data. Please email if you plan on taking this workshop.


Blurring the Lines (Instructors: Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, Lorna Williams)

With a view toward balancing and merging the needs and interests of language revitalization communities on one-hand and research linguists on the other, we will explore the following questions: Why collaborate? How can we design projects together? What guidance can we provide to each other? What are the needs of each participant and how can they all be met? Who is in charge of the project and what difference does it make? How can we recognize and respond to varying cultural expectations that can play a role in a project? Who “owns” the project results? Where can collaboration lead? We will address these questions and others through sharing example situations, and group discussion.


Community Language Archives (Instructors: Susan Gehr & Susan Smythe Kung)

In this workshop, students will develop an understanding of archival best practices as they apply to the creation and maintenance of Community Language Archives. Topics that will be addressed include the following: different types and functions of archives (including physical and online digital archives); how to do archival research (including the use of online catalogs and finding aids, navigation of online digital archives); types of language materials that should be put into archives (including copyright, intellectual and cultural property, how to care for physical artifacts and digital files); why, when, and how to donate language materials to an archive (including organization of materials and metadata, costs, policies of archives, and the human element); and when access restrictions might need to be applied to materials in an archive. We will briefly touch on how to start a community language archive (physical vs. virtual, partnering with a larger archive, necessary resources, e.g. human, physical, technological, fiscal), but this will not be a major focus of the class. No archives experience or knowledge is required. The course will be of interest to those wanting an introduction to language archives and those wishing to learn how to better manage language and heritage resources, such as language researchers, teachers and interested community members. The course will also be of interest to individuals that wish to preserve resources in their possession.


Creating Language Learning Apps for Endangered Languages (Instructors: Lisa Johnson & Kevin Martens Wong)

Memrise is a free web and mobile application (Android and iOS) that uses adaptive technology to help learners master new vocabulary and basic structures, and allows users to build and customize their own courses for any language. While no app can replace meaningful conversation with a native speaker, Memrise is an ideal tool for language revitalization because it’s flexible, community-oriented, easy-to-use, fun, and free.  It’s also a great way for fluent elders and more tech-savvy young people to collaborate on a revitalization project. By the end of the week, workshop participants will be able to use Memrise for both teaching and learning. They will have practiced all of the steps required for building a functioning custom course in Memrise. Sample data will be provided, but those who bring their own data can produce a small but functioning course by the end of the workshop. This workshop is for everyone: community members, students, and researchers. Participants should be computer literate, but no programming experience is required.  Participants should bring a laptop (Mac or Windows) with a web browser for hands-on training and course creation.


Developing Digital Tools for Language Revitalization: Demystifying Coding, Apps and Web Platforms (Instructors: Mark Turin and Aidan Pine)

From the field to the archive, and from notebooks to curriculum, analogue and digital tools and technologies are increasingly important components of community-based language documentation, conservation and revitalization projects. Learning about and understanding the practical and ethical implications of selecting one tool over another lies at the core of this workshop. In this workshop, we focus on hands-on, foundational skills for developing web, mobile, and desktop applications that enhance language revitalization efforts while at the same time situating these digital tools within their social and historical context. Participants will move between instructor-led presentations and facilitated discussions to practical technical training, and require no prior knowledge of coding. Participants will learn the basics of planning and implementing a digital project, and together we will build a mobile dictionary app in our four days together!


Digital Language Activism (Instructor: Brook Danielle Lillehaugen & Janet Chávez Santiago)

Digital Language Activism is the use of digital media and tools, including social media, to use and promote the use of small, marginalized, threatened, and sleeping languages. In such, it can be viewed as part of a more general use of social media in promoting civic engagement, social change, and action. In this workshop co-led by Zapotec speaker and digital language activist Janet Chávez Santiago (@JanChvzSanti) and linguist ally Brook Danielle Lillehaugen (@blillehaugen) participants explore the history, context, methods, and practice of Digital Language Activism through a combination of discussions, individual projects, small group work, and readings. This workshop is aimed at speakers, heritage language learners, and linguist allies involved in Digital Language Activism as well as those wanting to become involved. Those already experienced in the practice of Digital Language Activism will leave with a greater understanding of the context of this work and a larger network of fellow practitioners. Those new to Digital Language Activism will have the opportunity to think through a project and begin it.


Documenting Spatial Categories and Knowledge (Instructors: Niclas Burenhult and Carolyn O’Meara)

This workshop will provide students with the basics on how to incorporate the documentation of indigenous spatial categories and knowledge into their work. This can include place names and place narratives, landscape terminology, motion, deixis, and spatial frames of reference, among other things. We begin by discussing why documenting these categories and the associated geospatial information is an important component of language documentation projects, presenting overviews of different approaches to doing this. We also highlight the difficulties and pitfalls of such documentation. We follow up with some hands-on demonstrations of techniques and tools to implement the documentation of geospatially measurable phenomena.


ELAN 1 (Instructor: Andrea Berez-Kroeker) & ELAN 2 (Instructor: Christopher Cox)

This two-part workshop provides a hands-on introduction to ELAN, one of the standard software tools in language documentation and revitalization for creating time-aligned transcripts that associate text with audio and video.

In the first part of this workshop, participants are introduced to the basic functions of ELAN, learning how to create time-aligned transcripts that cover a range of common situations and exploring how to customize transcripts to meet their own linguistic needs. The second part of the workshop uses ELAN to accomplish common tasks in language documentation and revitalization. This includes creating user-friendly presentations of time-aligned transcripts (e.g., as subtitled audio or video recordings), searching and retrieving information in ELAN, and using ELAN in linguistic analysis.

No previous experience with ELAN is required. The instructors will provide example materials for in-class use, as well as a course pack and step-by-step instructions for each of the techniques demonstrated.


Ethics of fieldwork and language documentation from a community perspective (Instructor: Hilaria Cruz)

This course is about ethics of language documentation and field work from a community perspective. The course will combine theory and practice highlighting past and present ethical standards and methodologies followed and currently being followed by language documentarians, activists, and researchers. Special emphasis will be placed on ethical considerations emerging from collaborations between researchers, activist, and communities. Discussions will also feature issues of prior, free and informed consent, payment to consultants, and working with populations with special needs such as signers, minors, and protected populations including prisoners, and people with disabilities. The course will also include ethical concerns of navigating the socio-political and religious landscape of communities as well as material ownership, publication of work, dissemination, and making results more accessible to communities.


Ethnobiology (Instructor: Richard Stepp)

This workshop will acquaint participants with the approaches, methods and analyses used by ethnobiologists who are researching the relationship between humans and their biophysical environments. A particular focus will be on the role of language and the cognized environment. The approaches include co-evolution of cultural diversity, linguistic diversity and biological diversity, general principles of ethnobiological classification, field techniques for documenting ethnobiological knowledge, and transmission of traditional ecological knowledge. The course will draw on the instructor’s field research in North America, Mesoamerica and Southeast Asia, and on case studies of researchers who are active in other parts of the world. We will explore a variety of approaches that guide data collection. Participants will learn techniques for collecting and analyzing ethnobiological data, along with an introduction to various software packages.


FLEx 1 & 2 (Instructor: Juliet Morgan & Carolyn O’Meara)

FieldWorks Language Explorer (FLEx), a software tool that creates a linguistic database for lexicographical and text data collection and analysis. It is designed to help linguists organize linguistic data, create dictionaries, analyze text materials, and study morphology. Please note that FLEx software only runs on either Windows or Linux operating systems (no, FLEx does not run on Apple operating systems). FLEx can be used with a Mac if you purchase and install Windows (or Linux) and run the operating system through Boot Camp (a program that is now standard on all Macs), something you would need to do before the workshop.
The FLEx I workshop will introduce the software and teach the basics for using FLEx. No previous experience with or knowledge of FLEx is expected. The class will create a FLEx database together and learn how a FLEx database can be used to create a dictionary (online or print) and be used to analyze texts. The FLEx I workshop particularly focuses on creating and editing the lexicon and interlinearizing texts. Before the first class, workshop participants should download and install the latest stable release of FLEx (8.3.9 or later): No other software is needed for this class. Sample data sets and handouts with links to other useful software will be provided. Participants will leave the class with a basic understanding of the program, which I hope will encourage them to further explore the many possibilities of FLEx for language documentation, description, and revitalization work.

The FLEx II workshop will assume some previous knowledge, either from the FLEx I course or an equivalent from personal experience. While the FLEx I course focuses heavily on how to create a database, the FLEx II course will further explore what can be done with an existing database. The class will focus on sharing and editing a FLEx database, using FLEx as a part of a workflow with other software, and using advanced FLEx features like the parser and concordance. Before the first class, workshop participants should download and install the latest stable release of FLEx (8.3.9 or later): Sample data sets and handouts with links to other useful software will be provided.


Getting the full picture: Language use and the importance of video 1 & 2 (Instructor: Mandana Seyfeddinipur)

This course will provide in depth video training which focuses on why video is the default recording device in language documentation and how video can be used to immerse speakers in their own production prompting much richer descriptions and deeper knowledge representations.

The course will begin with an introduction to the fundamental nature of face-to-face conversation as the basic mode of language use. Video training is often limited to the technicalities of how to use a video camera and microphones but does not provide a theoretical framework for the features of language use. What is missing is an understanding of the social, linguistic and cognitive foundation of language use so that it becomes clear what needs to be captured how. This is because language use is fundamentally multimodal. When we speak we point to places, we nod to signal our understanding, and we outline our thoughts with our hands. Moreover, we coordinate our actions with our conversational partners. The way we talk, the words we use, the information we include depend on the common ground we share with our interlocutors and different social and contextual dimensions. Language documentation projects as well as any linguistic research project documenting and investigating dimensions of conversational language use should record video.  We will provide detailed guidelines of how to video record and training involving hands-on practice. Participants will collect natural language use data of different types and learn how to use video equipment.


Grant Writing (Instructors: Susan Gehr, Shobhana Chelliah)

The workshop on grant writing will be organized as series of interactive sessions focused on reading solicitations, creating teams, planning and budgeting, writing and proofing, understanding guidelines for submission and deadlines, and bringing community input into proposal conceptualization and submission.  For organizations planning to submit a grant application, we will discuss aligning the organization’s strategic plan with funding sources.  Bring your specific goals, ideas for projects, and outlines of activities for discussion.  Participants will begin to draft sections of a mock proposal and impact statements of their projects.


How to organize your materials and data for a language archive (Instructors: Susan Smythe Kung, Ryan Sullivant, Alicia Niwagaba, and Vera Ferreira)

This course will teach students about the management, organization, and curation that they can do during and after their data collection to prepare their language materials (both born-digital and analog) for deposit into a language archive. Selected discussion themes include the following: Strategies for managing both born-digital and analog data (incl., the importance of collecting metadata simultaneously with the data, and file-naming strategies for encoding metadata); Who would use my collection, and how? (Expected users: language communities, academic researchers versus less expected users: genealogists, historians, artists, musicians, the curious public); What archives can and cannot do for you (e.g., digital preservation versus digital presentation; which kinds of files are suitable for archiving); Making collection guides and finding aids (incl., the importance of collection guides using examples from physical and digital archives; what to include when creating collection guides); and Strategies for managing access to sensitive data (incl., access restriction techniques at various language archives and managing access in perpetuity).


Integrating Experimental Methods, Language Documentation, and (Linguistic) Theory (Instructors: Michal Temkin Martinez, Seunghun Lee)

Language documentation and linguistic theories mutually benefit from cooperation – data from documentation propels linguistic theories, and different theories can inform the collection of language materials. A wide array of rich, naturally occurring data collected in language documentation settings has long informed and been used for the basis for typological assertions and to further linguistic inquiry (Palosaari and Campbell 2011, Himmelmann 2012). On the other hand, O’Grady et al. (2009) use psycholinguistic theory and methods to aid in the documentation and assessment of language fluency that can be used for revitalization efforts. Additionally, the integration of experimental methods in language documentation has assisted in scientifically defining certain articulatory and acoustic parameters which are otherwise impossible to attain using only traditional documentation methodology (Miller 2008, Miller et al. 2009, Miller and Finch 2011).

During this workshop, participants will learn about the incorporation of experimental methods focusing on elicitations and traditional approaches to language documentation into linguistic theory. The workshop will consist of a combination of theory, examples, and hands-on activity in an active learning format, with an emphasis on participant-led inquiry. Data will be drawn from various language families.


Introduction to Linguistics 1 (Instructor: Patricia Shaw)

How can the study of Linguistics help me learn more about my own language? Linguistics offers a framework of concepts and analytical tools to help understand the way different languages are organized. Within every component of a language – ranging from what sounds are used to how words, phrases, and sentences are built up into conversations or stories or speeches – there are patterns. What Linguistics aims to do is discover just what those patterns are. What makes every language so unique and so special is how those patterns are structured and how they work together to become a vehicle for the particular world view of the cultural identity of the people who speak that language.

“Language” is a universal and uniquely human capability, and all human languages share certain properties. Even though languages may ‘sound’ really different, some aspects are essentially similar! For language learning and teaching, it’s helpful to discover common properties. At the same time, it’s also valuable to learn about the ways in which languages may differ, as this can contribute to understanding what aspects of language learning are more challenging, and why.

Week 1 of this course provides a foundation in core concepts of language structure, focussing on the properties of sounds (phonetics) and phonological systems, as well as on processes for building words (morphology) and sentences (syntax).


Introduction to Linguistics 2 (Instructor: Patricia Shaw)

Prerequisite: Introduction to Linguistics 1 or an understanding of the concepts covered. Please consult with the instructor if you’d like to register for only this section.

Week 2 further explores relationships between morphological and syntactic systems, as well as their interface with meaning (semantics), and aspects of language use (songs, stories, baby talk, etc.)

Other questions to be discussed include: What is a “polysynthetic” language? What does it mean for different languages to be related to each other, whereas other languages are “genetically distinct”? What is a “dialect”? What kinds of changes in a language can occur over time?

Class participants will build documentation and analytical skills through hands-on experience with data from a diversity of endangered languages around the world. Participants are particularly encouraged to contribute resources and questions from languages they want to learn more about.


Language and Healthcare (Instructors: Brent Henderson and Peter Rohloff)

UF students with an interest in global health may attend this workshop for free by RSVPing

This course explores surprising connections between language and global health efforts. Globally, healthcare providers in developing countries implement healthcare solutions with little or no regard for indigenous languages and cultures. This can dramatically increase the pressures of language shift to regionally dominant languages. This course will review new methodologies in addressing global health needs that take local languages and cultures seriously. We will review literature that suggests such methods create more effective health outcomes and can lead to major advances in indigenous language maintenance and revitalization. Participants will work through case studies interactively based on real fieldwork experiences. They will also develop proposals for language projects that a have healthcare component, or for healthcare projects that have language revitalization as an outcome.

Henderson and Rohloff have 10+ years experience in this area through their work with Maya Health Alliance, a healthcare NGO that serves indigenous Maya in rural Guatemala.


Language and Wellness: Health Benefits from Indigenous Language Use (Instructors: Alice Taff and Doug Whalen)

This course provides an overview of evidence connecting ancestral language use to better health. This link is moderately well attested in the published literature, but those involved in language revitalization take it as a given. The goal of the workshop is to give participants focused time to consider the issue of ancestral language use/learning and its connection to physical wellness; they can then design and implement their own projects based on the literature in this field, their workshop experience in project design, their knowledge about credible outcomes, and potential funding sources.


Macuiltianguis Zapotec PrePracticum Workshop (Instructors: John Foreman and Margarita Foreman)

This workshop is required for anyone who will be taking the Macuiltianguis Zapotec Practicum, which explores the language of Macuiltianguis Zapotec (MacZ), an indigenous language of Mexico originating in the town of San Pablo Macuiltianguis in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and now spoken by significant communities in Oaxaca City, Mexico City, and greater Los Angeles, California.  In this workshop, we will be setting the stage for the Practicum by looking at the following topics as they relate to Macuiltianguis Zapotec (MacZ):

  • The geographic, social, and cultural landscape surrounding the language both in San Pablo Macuiltianguis and beyond
  • Genetic affiliation
  • Comparison with closely related Zapotec varieties (an exploration in dialect vs. language)
  • The Mesoamerican Linguistic Area and how it is reflected in MacZ
  • Basics of phonology, morphology, and syntax
  • Discussion of competing orthographic conventions
  • Exploration of existing resources
  • Considerations of language endangerment
  • Setting the stage for individual/small group projects


Macuiltianguis Zapotec Practicum (Instructors: John Foreman and Margarita Foreman)

Macuiltianguis Zapotec (MacZ), a variant of Sierra Juárez Zapotec (ISO 639-3:zaa), is an indigenous language of Mexico originating in the town of San Pablo Macuiltianguis in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and now spoken by significant communities in Oaxaca City, Mexico City, and greater Los Angeles, California. Mexico, and in particular the state of Oaxaca, is one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the planet (Nettle & Romaine 2000), with Sierra Juárez Zapotec representing by some estimates just 1 of more than 50 Zapotec languages and 1 of more than 100 languages spoken in Oaxaca (Simon and Fennig 2017). Although Sierra Juárez Zapotec usage is claimed to be vital (Simon and Fennig 2017) or at worst vulnerable (“Ixtlán Zapotec” 2017), the MacZ variant is severely endangered. Children in the community have not been learning it as a native language for some time; the youngest speakers are likely in their late thirties or early forties. Community-driven revitalization and documentation efforts are underway (e.g. Grupo Cultural Tagayu’ 2017) and there is a pressing need for pedagogical materials and documentary works (particularly audio and video resources) in the language. In this practicum, students will work in person with Ms. Margarita Foreman, a community activist, Spanish sociolinguistics graduate student, and native speaker of MacZ, who is currently developing a college-level course in MacZ. We may also have the opportunity to work with other speakers via Skype. Our goals will be to further understanding of the language and to help meet the needs of the community. Students will have the chance to develop individual or small group projects that play to their interests and strengths. These may include developing theoretical analyses of some aspect of the language, preparing pedagogical materials for use by second language learners, or creating documentary resources of interest to linguists and the community. The Practicum will generally be conducted in English, although as this is a native language of Mexico, knowledge of Spanish is certainly an asset, but it is not required.


Mini-practicum, Choctaw lexicon project (Instructor: Jason Lewis, Jack Martin, Abrianna Tubby, and Dee Saunders)

Choctaw is a Muskogean language, primarily spoken in Mississippi and Oklahoma.  The Language Department of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has been working for many years on a new Mississippi Choctaw dictionary.  In this mini-practicum, CoLang participants will work with two members of the tribal language department (Jason Lewis and Abrianna Tubby) and a linguist (Jack Martin) to update and expand the current dictionary and bring it as close to completion as possible.
CoLang participants will learn to:

  • Convert lexical material from spreadsheet format into FLEx
  • Work with legacy material from earlier dictionary projects
  • Edit and link audio files to FLEx lexical entries
  • Consult with tribal language staff on dictionary design and format
  • Produce multiple dictionary outputs for different uses (e.g. elementary school, high school, and adult learners)

[This workshop lasts for two weeks, and occupies two afternoon slots.  Students need to enroll for all four portions of the Mini-practicum.]


Multilingualism and Language Documentation (Instructors: Pierpaolo Di Carlo and Jeff Good)

The workshop has two main goals: (i) to introduce students to some of the challenges of documenting languages in settings characterized by high degrees of individual multilingualism and (ii) to lay out techniques for documenting multilingual practices within a community. Course topics will include: the interplay of community-level and individual-level multilingualism, sociolinguistic survey techniques for multilingual communities, metadata collection in multilingual environments, collection and annotation of multilingual data, and the role of ethnographic techniques in documenting multilingualism. Examples will be drawn primarily from Africa where multilingual societies have long been the norm, though students will be encouraged to bring in information on the multilingual settings where they work as well.

Methods for the documentation of multilingualism are at the cutting edge of current documentary practice, and this course should be of interest to students who aim to conduct documentation of specific languages spoken within multilingual communities, who have an interest in engaging in the documentation of multilingualism itself, or who are researching the sociolinguistics of communities where language choice plays a significant factor in encoding social differentiation.


Navigating consent, rights, and intellectual property (Instructor: Susan Smythe Kung)

Have you ever wondered who owns the copyright to the language materials you collect when you are in the field? Have you thought about the intellectual property rights that are associated with recordings you made? Have you considered the cultural property rights of the groups with whom you work? Maybe you got someone’s consent to participate in your field research, but did you get their permission to put your field recordings in a language archive? Are you new to field work and confused about what informed consent is and how to get it? Do you ever wonder how consent, permission, privacy, intellectual property, cultural property, and copyright interact with each other and how they affect language researchers, community members, archive staff and even the general public? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then this is the workshop for you! This course contextualizes all these issues with respect to language documentation, archiving, and research. It is intended for anyone (student, researcher, community member, archive user, or some combination of these) of any level who wishes to have a better understanding of these issues and their implications for research and scholarship.


Orthography (Instructor: Mike Cahill)

In this workshop we outline the complex process of designing an orthography. While phonological analysis is usually straightforward and can be done in a reasonably short period of time, orthography development is a process that involves much more than a phonological analysis. We walk students through some of the considerations one may have to take into account when designing an orthography, such as script, standardization, politics and religion. We provide an opportunity for hands-on analysis and aim to exchange experiences, brainstorm, and expand resources together.


Pedagogical Grammar (Instructors: Mary Linn, Conor Quinn)

This workshop discusses the development, purpose, composition and use of pedagogical grammars. Pedagogical grammars are learner or teacher-oriented language descriptions that promote learning or guide acquisition of that language. We will focus on pedagogical grammars for languages with fewer resources. Topics include: grammar and the speech community; how the language determines what to include; how learning determines what to include; making grammar emergent and fun through tasks; and issues of planning, use, function. We look at these topics from several perspectives, such as that of the grammar writer, the learner, language teacher, program consultants/elders, and language program director. Participants will get experience writing a small section of a pedagogical grammar.


Phonetic Analysis with Praat (Instructor: Kristine Hildebrandt)

Acoustic phonetics is an important complementary part of impressionistic production information in describing the sounds of a language. It is also important to the formulation of phonological analyses in providing quantitative and visual bases to the description of language sounds. Acoustic analysis is also increasingly important in language teaching, because instructors and students can make use of the features of acoustic software in production instruction and practice. Acoustic analysis software has become increasingly affordable and easy to use, and this course will be centered around becoming familiar with Praat ( We will begin by covering topics that are important to acoustic phonetics (recording equipment, sampling rates). The bulk of this course will focus on how to use Praat to isolate and “read/query” the details of segmental and suprasegmental properties of sound, and to test and quantify impressionistic assumptions about speech sounds (e.g. consonant voicing, vowel qualities, variations in manner). This course will be largely “hands-on,” and participants will learn to load, view, analyze, and manipulate sound files right from the first session.


Project Planning (Instructor: Margaret Florey)

This workshop provides a sound foundation in project planning. It is aimed primarily at people who are relatively new to planning and developing language projects. Over four sessions, participants will identify the project goals and objectives, proposed outcomes, the target audience, and the project team members and their skills and roles. They will begin to map core activities against a realistic timeline together with a preliminary implementation plan. The class will explore strategic plans and look at how each step of a project fits strategically into the wider goals and needs of the language. Participants will identify their key project goal and prepare a succinct summary of the project that can be used in the next stage of attracting publicity and seeking funding.


Revitalization and documentation from a perspective of first and second language acquisition (Instructors: Mizuki Miyashita, Tracy Hirata-Edds)

Our workshop introduces how language is learned and places these concepts in the contexts of language documentation and revitalization. Such learning occurs in various patterns, and is used in many different domains. We explore questions related to what type of documentation effectively serves learners. The overall topic is interdisciplinary, including areas such as first and second language learning and acquisition, linguistics, language description, language planning, programming, and pedagogy. We welcome anyone interested in learning about and sharing knowledge of how language acquisition interacts with documentation and revitalization.


Spatial Visualization and Language Documentation (Instructor: Kristine Hildebrandt)

Maps and atlases can be a useful part of the toolkit for examining and interpreting variation and change in language documentation and in maintenance or revitalization. They allow for illuminating generalizations to be drawn from often unruly distributions of patterns. They also allow for a birds-eye view of patterns across populations or geographic and temporal spaces. Traditionally, map-making has been the domain of cartographers or those with large grant budgets, but with advances in free, shareable technology that is easy to learn, spatial visualization of language data is now possible. This course will introduce participants to the ways that maps have been used in language research and community outreach. You will get an overview of maps and map-making in the humanities and general linguistics, and then the course will transition to ways that digital maps are now being used in language documentation, with examples from the Americas and in other parts of the world. You will be guided through the manipulation of existing online digital maps, with an eye to the strengths and drawbacks, and also how you might design a map for your own work.


Survey Methods (Instructors: Keren Rice & Mary Linn)

Planning is an essential part of language revitalization. Surveys, sometimes required by funding sources, are a tool for planning. Far beyond recording language status, surveys help us understand community vitality – how people are using and want to use their languages and attitudes that can propel or hinder revitalization efforts. In this workshop, we will discuss questions such as, what can we learn from a survey? How can surveys be used in revitalization and community well-being? What different kinds of surveys are there? What kinds of questions should we ask and how do we ask them without causing negative impact on emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being of participants? How can we use the results effectively? The leaders will use Handbook 3: Conducting a Language Survey (from Awakening Our Languages: ILI Handbook Series) as a starting point for classroom discussions. Participants will be asked to work in groups to develop survey questions and give short surveys to each other to practice reading and presenting results. The goal is for participants to leave with a creative toolset for using surveys in their own communities or language programs.


Talk it up! Everyday conversation in language documentation (Instructors: Olivia Sammons, Nick Williams)

This workshop will introduce students, activists, and experienced researchers to collecting and working with recordings of everyday conversation. The focus will be on practical methods for documenting conversation and possible applications in language revitalization. We will also briefly introduce workshop participants to techniques for analyzing conversation, providing a basis for further exploration in this active area of research.


Teaching Pronunciation for Indigenous Languages (Instructors: Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, Colleen Fitzgerald)

This workshop focuses on what you need to know in order to learn to pronounce words/sentences and to teach others pronunciation. Possible topics include: how sounds are made; different types of knowledge (phonetic and phonological) about sounds and sound systems and how these affect pronunciation; the value of instrumental analysis for learning and teaching pronunciation; how to adapt a linguistic grammatical description or pronunciation guide for use in a language classroom; the relationship between writing systems, descriptions, and transcriptions of sounds; using verbal arts as tools for teaching pronunciation; and the use or development of language resources on sounds and sound systems.  The workshop is geared towards speech community members or linguists thinking about how to learn and teach pronunciation in community contexts.

Transcription (Instructor: Mizuki Miyashita):

This workshop will provide the participants with basic hands-on transcription training focusing on how to represent sounds of a language in writing. There are various types and levels of transcription for different purposes. On the first three days of the workshop week, a different transcription method will be focused on: phonetic transcription with International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), intonation transcription with Tones and Beak Indices (ToBI), and conversation transcription (Santa Barbara style). On the last day, we will discuss transliteration in addition to these methods and explore various ideas of language representation strategies with respect to multiple purposes and views in communities.

Using Ethnography in Language Documentation (Instructors: Sarah Shulist)

This workshop will train participants to use ethnographic methodologies to support the development and implementation of projects for language documentation and revitalization. Students, ideally, will be community and academic linguists with an intermediate to advanced level of knowledge about language programs, but without any extensive training in anthropology and ethnography. The goal is to provide this group of language activists with an additional set of tools for use in enhancing the efficacy and comprehensiveness of their documentary and revitalization work. The workshop sessions will address such topics as: applying anthropological concepts to documenting languages; understanding relationships among social roles, status, and language use; identifying and categorizing genres of language; understanding language ideologies; and understanding the political and institutional contexts for documentation and revitalization.


Life in Communities (Instructors: Leroy Morgan,  Spike Gildea, and Adrienne Tsikewa)

In the face of widespread language endangerment, there has been a major expansion of language documentation, linguistic description, and language revitalization. Such projects usually require what has historically been called fieldwork, the situation in which a researcher (usually an outsider) enters a community (sometimes for extended periods of time) for the purposes of studying the language and/or culture of the people in that community. Modern language documentation and revitalization projects that involve an outside researcher usually require deep engagement with community collaborators, as well as recognition of Indigenous Research Methodologies. Outside researchers generally prepare for “fieldwork” through field methods courses, but “[w]hile we generally do a very thorough job of teaching how to elicit and analyze data, we often forget to tell them that there is a personal and practical side to fieldwork that can very well derail their research if they are not prepared for it.” (Macauley, 2004:194); speech communities rarely have any preparation for such projects. The overall goal of this workshop is, therefore, to familiarize both linguistic researchers and community members with the personal and practical dimensions of cross-cultural fieldwork. We want to stimulate conversations about how documentation can meet both researcher and community needs and goals, recognize and respect Indigenous Research Methodologies, and help the researcher learn about cultural institutions, protocols, values, and needs. This orientation will guide us in discussing how researchers and speech communities establish contact, set up and maintain productive and satisfying work relations, and balance research and social goals. In this way, all involved can have the most rewarding experience possible.

CoLang 2018 is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (BCS-1664464), the Linguistic Society of America, and the University of Florida.