Stadt: Wien

Frist: 2019-06-30

Beginn: 2019-09-30

Ende: 2019-10-05




Submission Deadline – June 30, 2019

Keywords: Workshop, language documentation, language data management, endangered languages, vanishing languages, engaged humanities.

Date: 30th September – 5th October

Time: 8.30 a.m., 30th September

Finishes: 5 p.m., 5th October

Venue: Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna

Room: Seminarraum 1

Type of Event: Training workshop. This event is an all-day training workshop, with guest lectures followed by training sessions by the team from the Endangered Language Archive (ELAR, SOAS University of London) and another team from the Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage (VLACH) Commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.


The Commission of Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage (VLACH), based at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR, SOAS University of London), announces the international workshop Documentating Vanishing Languages, dedicated to the Year of Indigenous Languages, which has been declared by UNESCO for 2019.

Over the past few decades, the documentation and conservation of vanishing languages has emerged as a distinct subfield of linguistics with its own methodology and theoretical underpinnings. The increased access to information resulting from increased technological innovation offers new strategies for language documentation, which allow the linguist, the speaker and the activist to come closer together. A collaborative, community-based documentation of endangered languages can contribute enormously to the quality of research done, and digital tools have the potential to accelerate the documentation work. This, however, brings new challenges in the preservation of vanishing languages.

The Documenting Vanishing Languages workshop brings together four groups whose collaboration in language documentation and preservation has previously not always been taken for granted. These include linguists, who are well trained in documentation technologies, junior scholars working on language documentation, as well as members of language communities and documentarists.

Throughout the duration of this workshop, the focus will be primarily on discussing and implementing methods, tools, and theoretical underpinnings for the creation, preservation and access to endangered languages from around the world. Most importantly, we aim at creating an environment for exchange with community members, which will enable scholars and community members alike to shape responsible and long-lasting documentation strategies within the appropriate social and cultural context of each community.

The main themes covered in the workshop are

  • Challenges of developing representative language documentation strategies
  • Techniques & equipment for data collection
  • Data management. Best practices and guidelines
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Metadata creation
  • Video making for public outreach
  • Creating multimedia thematic dictionaries

Invited speakers

  • Lenore Grenoble (University of Chicago)
  • Mark Turin (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)



  • Vera Ferreira (SOAS, London)
  • Gema Zamora Fernandez (SOAS, London)
  • Anna Sowa and Remigiusz Sowa (Chouette Film, London)


  • Mehdi Aminian (VLACH, Vienna)
  • Chingis Azydov (VLACH, Vienna)
  • Thede Kahl (VLACH, Vienna)
  • Ioana Nechiti (VLACH, Vienna)
  • Andreea Pascaru (VLACH, Vienna)

Participant’s Profiles

As we wish for input and expertise from a range of disciplines, besides linguists we also encourage young researchers and scholars from other disciplines (e.g. digital humanities, ethnography, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology etc.) and community members who are interested and involved in language documentation to apply.

Participation Fee

There are no registration or tuition fees. However, participants are responsible for their transportation costs in getting to and around Vienna, as well as for their lodging and maintenance costs for the entire period of the workshop.

We will support the travel costs and lodging for 8 community members preferably from the Meglen Vlach-, Apulian Grico-, Banat Bulgarian-, Kalmyk-, Romani-, Judeo-Spanish-speaking communities involved in language documentation work. However, community members from other communities whose language is endangered, are welcome to apply.

Application Guidelines

Applications for participation shall be submitted to: vlach(at) no later than June 30, 2019 (23:59 pm CET) by complying with the following guidelines:

  • One word document of maximum 2 pages (at least 12 point size font, 1 inch margins; including examples and references) in English containing:
    (1) an abstract of the ongoing research projects on vanishing languages,
    (2) a motivation letter
    (3) a biographical statement
  • Each abstract should include your full name, status (e.g. MA, PhD student etc.), and your current institutional affiliation if applicable

Local Organizers

Thede Kahl (VLACH, ÖAW)
Ioana Nechiti (VLACH, ÖAW)
Andreea Pascaru (VLACH, ÖAW)

Notification of selection

Applicants will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance by the 15th July 2019.

For any question you might have, don’t hesitate to contact us: vlach(at)

For more information and updates, visit our workshop website:

Beitrag von: Ioana Nechiti

Redaktion: Christof Schöch