October 22, 2019

Federal Agencies Take Action to Digitally Document Nearly 50 Endangered Languages

Federal Agencies Take Action to Digitally Document Nearly 50 Endangered Languages

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the award of 10 fellowships and 24 institutional grants totaling $3.9 million in the agencies’ ongoing Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) program.

This is the seventh round of their campaign to preserve records of languages threatened with extinction. Experts estimate that more than half of the approximately 7,000 currently used human languages are bound for oblivion in this century, and the window of opportunity for high-quality language field documentation, they say, narrows with each passing year.

These new DEL awards will support digital documentation work on almost 50 endangered languages, enhance the computational infrastructure of the field and provide training for the next generation of researchers.

A major goal of DEL is to enhance the training of both academic linguists and community members in documentary linguistics, say researchers. A number of recently awarded DEL projects support this goal.

Source: National Science Foundation

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