the archive of the indigenous languages of latin america l.
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The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America. Goals and Visions. The AILLA Community. Scholars: linguists, anthropologists, educators, botanists… Speakers of indigenous languages In Latin America General public, especially indigenous people living abroad. .

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the ailla community
The AILLA Community
  • Scholars: linguists, anthropologists, educators, botanists…
  • Speakers of indigenous languages In Latin America
  • General public, especially indigenous people living abroad.
scholars access and interests
Scholars: access and interests
  • Access: good, although mostly via telephone connections in Latin America.
  • Safe preservation of data collections.
  • Venue for publication of data and early research results.
  • Research: cross-linguistic/cultural analyses, typology, historical analyses…
speakers access and interests
Speakers: access and interests
  • Access: ranges from university accounts to Internet cafes in market cities. Many will have little or no access.
  • Language documentation: dictionaries, grammars, text collections, ethnographies.
  • Language revitalization: teaching materials for all ages.
  • Literature and broadcast media; Internet publication.
heritage speakers
Heritage speakers
  • Access: ranges from excellent to intermittent.
  • Typically seeking language and culture materials for their children
key tasks of an archive
Key Tasks of an Archive
  • Acquisition
  • Data management
  • Long-term preservation
  • Dissemination
  • Exploitation of archive resources
acquisition triage
Acquisition triage
  • Data from severely endangered languages.
  • Data stored on obsolete media.
  • Breadth of coverage.
  • Support goals of speakers.
  • Depth of coverage.
  • Quality of supporting materials.
data management
Data management
  • Diverse resources
  • Dynamic resources
  • Standards and interoperability
  • Data types and formats
diverse resources
Diverse Resources
  • An eclectic collection
    • Audio, video, text, graphic, photo
    • From field notes to fully annotated films to virtual art galleries to collections of poems…
    • Like a library: preserved forever and available to the public.
    • Unlike a library: creators = publishers, producers and consumers overlap.
dynamic resources
Dynamic Resources
  • A volatile collection.
  • Better to archive unanalyzed data than risk accidental loss.
  • Archive as a medium for international collaboration.
  • Depositors can update resources.
  • Resources may have multiple versions.
standards and interoperability
Standards and interoperability
  • We must have interoperable metadata and file formats to serve our users.
  • AILLA has adopted the IMDI standard for metadata, with local customizations.
  • IMDI & OLAC will maintain mappings so AILLA will be compliant with the global community.
  • What we still need: standards for packaging multi-media language resources - bundles.
data types and formats
Data types and formats
  • Audio: .wav and .mp3, with 1-minute mp3 samples of long works (> 10 mins)
  • Text: .pdf and the original format.
  • Future:
    • Some kind of standard markup for texts?
    • Some kind of neutral yet live text format?
    • 2-minute chunks of .wav files?
    • Video, photo, graphic, etc, etc, etc…
  • Long-term preservation is a requirement: it’s our primary mission!
  • As long as there is a library at the University of Texas at Austin, AILLA’s resources will be preserved.
  • Also a primary requirement of the archive: wide dissemination of resources.
  • Internet best serves this requirement.
  • Everything must be available online: metadata, metadata editors, upload/download resources, information…
  • Issue: ensuring backwards compatibility, efficient functioning on old browsers, slow computers, and telephone connections.
  • Everything must also be available offline, on CDs sent by mail.
accessibility vs protection
Accessibility vs. protection
  • Vast majority of AILLA’s collection will be public access, no restrictions.
  • Graded access system controls access to sensitive materials:
    • Level 2: automatic controls, e.g. passwords
    • Level 3: depositor control, by permission only.
    • Level 4: speaker control, by permission only.
  • HOWEVER: Not publishing data is also a potential infringement of speakers’ right to access their own languages’ resources!
  • AILLA’s users include people who
    • Speak Spanish as a second language, and do not speak English;
    • Have little or no prior computer experience;
    • May have very little formal education;
    • Probably do not speak academese.
  • Mission: Interfaces must use clear, ordinary language, not jargon, and everything must be offered in Spanish as well as English.
exploitation of resources
Exploitation of resources
  • Viewers, annotation tools, analysis tools…
  • Anything that helps users achieve their goals using archive resources.
  • Short term plan: scour the net for free software and provide links, guides, reviews, etc. from AILLA’s web site.
  • Long term plan: seek agreements to localize all that fine software to Spanish.
  • The long range vision:
    • An nice fat endowment, to support and develop the archive, and offer grants to speakers working on their languages.
    • Every last scrap of information ever created about the indigenous languages of Latin America, with all the necessary tools.
    • An academic culture that requires archiving of data.
    • A reputation among indigenous people as a full-service support site for their goals and visions for their languages.