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Supporting minority languages: issues and problems with creating and using spoken language corpora
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0983-6333
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2014 (English)In: 17th World Congress of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA), Brisbane, August 10-15, 2014, 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This presentation considers creation of spoken minority language corpora and how these can be used to support minority language education across the entire educational spectrum. The Saami languages are a group of minority languages spoken in Northern Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. In the Saami context there is currently one major language project that focuses on North Saami, Davvisámegiel mánáid giellaovdáneapmi (DASAGO), and is building two longitudinal corpora, one for monolingual acquisition and one for bilingual North Saami/Norwegian. Of the Saami languages, North Saami is the most widely spoken with approximately 25 000 speakers. The DASAGO project has no explicit educational objectives, yet its findings will be of relevance for the development of educational materials for North Saami. Another project creating an oral language corpus for a Saami language is Mávulasj, a spoken Lule Saami documentation project that has explicit educational objectives. Lule Saami has approximately 500 speakers. Creating spoken language corpora that are of relevance for education is complex. Drawing on the experiences of creating these corpora, we explore the complexities of spoken minority language corpus creation through an ongoing South Saami project based in Umeå, Sweden. South Saami is a language with circa 500 speakers and in contrast to North Saami the speakers are spread over a large geographic area. The low number of speakers, the geographical spread, and the even lower number of advanced first language speakers, poses additional problems for the South Sami spoken corpus’ construction, and its use in the development of education materials. Using examples, we illustrate how corpora can be used to support the development of culturally relevant innovative teaching materials that can assist in language revitalization, and illustrate how corpora can be misused and result in linguistically incorrect teaching materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Pedagogy Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114457OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-114457DiVA: diva2:895566
Conference
17th World Congress of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA)
Available from: 2016-01-19 Created: 2016-01-19 Last updated: 2016-05-27

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Waldmann, ChristianKroik, DavidVinka, MikaelSullivan, Kirk P H
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