Archive for the ‘multimedia’ Category

New hope for Hupa

12 May 2011

Possibly the first dissertation written for a linguistics department (a relatively new discipline) was on Hupa (hup), a language spoken in northern California. According to “Home drives — and pulls — a UC Berkeley student” on the Contra Costa Times site, that was in 1903 at the University of California, Berkeley.

While Wikipedia cites the US census in saying there were 64 people between the ages of 5 and 17 who spoke Hupa in 2000, the Ethnologue has eight speakers as of 1998, and a grant description on the HRELP site states there are fewer than five native speakers.

Despite those troubling statistics, there is a new hope for the language: Graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, are studying Hupa, and their number includes Kayla Carpenter, a Hoopa Valley Tribe member.

One of their projects is a password-protected online dictionary of Hupa, which looks like it will be useful in many ways as can be seen in “An online multimedia dictionary of Hupa (Athabaskan),” a presentation about the project. According to Andrew Garrett’s page at the University of California, Berkeley, graduate students Amy Campbell, Ramón Escamilla, Andrew Garrett, Lindsey Newbold, and Justin Spence are working with Victor Golla to create the resource, not yet available to the public, which is based on Golla’s dictionary, probably referring to the second edition of the Hupa Language Dictionary.

Although some of the links are now old, an excellent resource for Hupa links is Danny Ammon’s Hupa Language Web Site.

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Internship with Video Dictionary Project – US

11 May 2011

SAIVUS and VizLingo have announced an internship on the VizLingo project. The internship will be unpaid, but college credit is possible.

Not many details on the VizLingo project have been released, but it appears it will offer a way to create online video/picture dictionaries. According to the internship announcement, VizLingo will go live soon, and this internship will be for the summer months.

The project is located in New York City, though telecommuting may be possible.

The deadline is May 22, 2011. See also the announcement on the SAIVUS blog.

Video making the case to revitalize

13 April 2011

Last autumn, the BBC had an article titled “Are dying languages worth saving?” that includes a video.

The article provides pros and cons for revitalization, but the video is on the side of revitalization. Speaking in seven languages, people make the case with English subtitles to assist those people who are not septaglots (speaking seven languages).

The languages used are:

Tweets meet digital billboard meets Native cultures

5 April 2011

Clint Burnham has teamed up with Lorna Brown to create public art on the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. On the south end of the bridge is an electronic billboard—the sort you see announcing traffic delays on the highway—located on Squamish Nation land.

The title of this art project is “Digital Natives,” and its form is short messages displayed on the billboard. Through April, Digital Natives is inviting North American artists and writers (Native or not) to send short messages up to 140 characters in length, or Tweets, through their Twitter account @diginativ. They will select up to 30 for display on the bulletin board beginning mid-April.

Part of the project appears to be translating Tweets into First Nations languages. Some of the difficulties and successes of translation to Kwak’wala (kwk) are discussed in “Learning through translation” on the Digital Natives site. Other languages of the project include Squamish (squ)—the language of the Squamish Nation—and hǝn’q’ǝmin’ǝm’—the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (hur).

The show is from Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. Read also the biographies for the many contributors to this project.

The article “‘Digital Natives'” on the Tyee site provided the inspiration and much of the material for this blog entry.

Squamish Language is in the process of creating podcasts for learning Squamish. So far, four are available. Podcasts can be downloaded onto iTunes on your personal computer or onto your iPhone, iPod or iPad.

Gullah-Geechee Conference on Saturday

31 March 2011

Gullah (gul), or Geechee as the language is known to insiders, is spoken by about 250,000 people on the East Coast of the US from the Carolinas to Florida. The language is a creole, based primarily on English with contributions from Akan, Bambara, Ewe, Fula, Hausa, Igbo, Kimbundu, Kongo, Mandinka, Mende, Umbundu, Vai, Wolof and Yoruba (all of which appear to have large speaking populations).

Cape Fear Community College is hosting a conference on Saturday, April 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Wilmington, North Carolina, US. The topic of the conference is the future of the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

The Gullah people are an African-American population with a unique culture within the United States. Many Americans are familiar with the Brer Rabbit (Brer = Brother) stories about a trickster rabbit, an oral tradition of the Gullahs.

The Gullah people are working to maintain their culture, including their language. In 2005, a New Testament was completed in Gullah after 20 years of work.

YouTube has a video by Richard Green on Ultimate Gullah, a store and cultural center in South Carolina. Gullah/Geechee Nation is one of the pages on Facebook focused on Gullah culture.

A glossary of some Gullah words can be found at “A Glossary of Gullah Wordstaken from The Black Border by Ambrose E. Gonzales” and the full text of the book at “The black border; Gullah stories of the Carolina coast.” Gullah songs can be found at Gullah. The movie “Conrack” about a white schoolteacher who gets a job on an island teaching African-American children is a true story that took place in a Gullah community. Many other books and movies are also available.

Digital Drum – Aboriginal Cultural Expression

20 March 2008

With the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network designed a sophisticated Website last year to allow people to showcase their traditional storytelling, community traditions, music and other cultural activities.

Supported through the efforts of Executive Producer Wayne Clark, Producer Philip Djwa and a host of other talented people, the Digital Drum Website provides an interface for people to upload videos and post other multimedia content and hyperlinks.

For example, see Qallunajatut Urban part 2 to listen to watch Inuit traditional skills with an Inuit explanation and English transcript. Playing Eastern Tide: Mildred Milliea part 1, part 2 and part 3 tell the story of Mi’kmaq Native Dr. Milliea who has dedicated her life to preserving Mi’kmaq (mic). Explore these and other cultural adventures at Digital Drum.

Videos for dxʷlešúcid (Lushootseed)

24 June 2006

Five videos are available from the Tulalip Tribes’ Lushootseed Language Division to learn basic dxʷlešúcid conversation.