Enabling large-scale collaboration in language conservation
AffiliationSchool of Languages and Linguistics
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Matthew Bettinson
The present scale of conservation activity falls short of what is required to address the rate of language loss worldwide. Current practice is framed as expert activity which limits the audience of would-be conservators. However decentralised collaborative action is commonplace in the post Web 2.0 digital landscape, opening the door for self-determined acts of conservation. This thesis shifts the emphasis towards large-scale collaboration inspired by crowdsourcing collective intelligence in other domains. This thesis reports a programme of applied research to formulate an architecture for a collaborative mobile app/services suited for the constrained resource environments of language activism. This is achieved by means of an inductive-iterative method centred on the development of three significant software tools positioned as practical solutions for existing challenges in language conservation. Each of these projects was developed in conjunction with speakers of an endangered language in rural North Western Taiwan. This thesis describes a pattern for a for large-scale language conservation app/service and present a complete implementation, concluding with a discussion of the opportunities and remaining challenges for achieving large-scale collaborative language conservation.
Keywordslanguage conservation; endangered languages; mobile apps
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