Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Language, Arts and Cultural Expression

Academic journal article Australian Aboriginal Studies

Language, Arts and Cultural Expression

Article excerpt

Ms Sarah Cutfield began a three-year Language and Society Research Fellowship in January 2009, and Ms Jutta Besold, Ms Salome Harris and Mr Tom Honeyman were awarded short-term contracts to assist with language technology and digitisation. Ms Cutfield developed a ten-year plan for the language research program encompassing activity in language documentation and research, leadership and policy, community development, provision of tools and resources, and communications. She was awarded Visiting Fellow status in the ANU linguistics program. The language team submitted successful funding applications to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) in February 2009 to continue work on the Online Language Community Access Program (OLCAP) and AUSTLANG in 2009-10. Development work has commenced on a new Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive (ASEDA) catalogue database and website, in conjunction with the Research School of Humanities, ANU.

DEWHA provided funding of $234,300 for Phase 2 of OLCAP in 2008-09. The primary activities for the year were the creation of user-friendly interfaces; loading language material on to the OLCAP server; and adding metadata and annotations. Mr Jason Lee completed a discussion paper and draft rights management plan for OLCAP. This will be developed into a rights management policy. Recent activities include progress with developing a simplified upload procedure; breaking digital records into smaller 'sessions' (e.g. a single song rather than an entire performance) for easier handling; and recruiting additional community trainees to support the project. Ms Colleen Moerkerken, a community linguist working on the project, created an educational video in the Nungali language of the Victoria River District, using an AIATSIS audio recording made in 1985. Mr Lee documented the process, from finding the short sentence-length stretches of audio to completing the final video; this documentation will be useful for future language workers using the system.

Dr Kazuko Obata completed the first stage of the AUSTLANG project, and AUSTLANG was launched to the general public in December 2008. …

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