Working Group 4:

Language diversity, vitality and endangerment

A language’s vitality refers to its current and likely future level of use. A linguistically diverse future will depend on ensuring good vitality levels for as many languages as possible. Endangerment means reduction in speakers/domains, especially family and community. New technologies may increase the domains of language use and therefore have a positive impact on language vitality. At the same time, this depends on the availability of technologies for all languages and access to new technologies by the community members. Current paradigms in LT in fact exclude the vast majority of languages as they need big amounts of data and huge computing power that are not available for most languages. WG4 will address questions like: will LT of the future be able to have a positive impact on the vitality of languages? Will spoken language technology be strong enough to sustain languages which exist only in oral or signed form? Will the diversity of forms in which languages appear influence the development of new language technologies? Will LT sustain language diversity and in which form? How can technologies enhance the prospect of survival of endangered languages and how should they be designed?

Does current LT sustain language diversity?
How can NLP sustain linguistic diversity (provided it can) ?
Do language technologies slow the pace of language loss?
How can we evaluate the impact that technology has on language vitality?
How should we design technologies that enhance the prospects of survival of endangered languages?


Progress of MT for less-resourced languages, AI learning w/o large database, Measuring diversity/vitality with new technology

WG chairs:

Ingeborg Birnie

ingeborg.birnie [ a t ]

Maggie Glass [ a t ]


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