A document’s DOI (http://www.doi.org/ or on Wikipedia under Digital Object Identifier) is an important part of the citation of a document Chelsea Lee. 21 September 2009. A DOI Primer. APA Style Blog. http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2009/09/a-doi-primer.html [Accessed: 10 April 2011] [Link] . Many style sheets allow for just the DOI of a paper as the citation. Because DOIs are unique they can act as URIs which are resolvable and look like URLs Dion Almaer. 23 November 2007. URI vs. URL: What’s the difference?. Ajaxian. http://ajaxian.com/archives/uri-vs-url-whats-the-difference. [Accessed: 10 April 2012] [Link] . However, a DOI is different than a URL for where a digital object might be located. It might be well argued that a DOI should be tracked in the metadata schemes of archives which collect language and linguistic data. Continue reading →
This post is a open draft! It might be updated at any time... But was last updated on at .
Metadata is very important - Everyone agrees. However, there is some discussion when it comes to how to develop metadata and also how to ensure that the metadata is accurate. Taxonomies are limited vocabularies (a set number of items) where each term has a predefined definition. A folksonomy is a vocabulary where people, usually users of data, assign their own useful words or metadata to an item. Folksonomies are like taxonomies in that they are both sets but are unlike taxonomies in the sense that they are an open set where taxonomies are closed sets.
An example of a taxonomy might be the colors of a traffic light: Red, Yellow, and Green. If this were a folksonomy people might suggest also the colors of Amber, Orange, Blue-Green and Blue. These additional terms may be accurate to some viewers of traffic lights or in some cases but they do not fit the stereo-typical model for what are the colors of traffic lights. Continue reading →
A couple of years ago I had a chance meeting with a cartographer in North Dakota. It was interesting because he asked us (a group of linguists) What is a language or linguistic map? So, I grabbed a few examples and put them into a brief for him. This past January at the LSA meeting in Portland, Oregon, I had several interesting conversations with the folks at the LL-Map Project under Linguists’ List. It occurred to me that such a presentation of various kinds of language maps might be useful to a larger audience. So this will be a bit unpolished but should show a wide selection of language and linguistic based maps, and in the last section I will also talk a bit about interactive maps. Continue reading →
Over the last few weeks I have been contemplating how multi-lingual content could work on sil.org. (I have had several helpful conversations to direct my thinking.)
As I understand the situation there is basically three ways which multi-lingual content could work.
First let me say that there is a difference between, multi-lingual content, multi-lingual taxonomies, and multi-lingual menu structures. We are talking about content here, not menu and navigation structures or taxonimies. Facebook has probably presented the best framework to date for utilizing on the power crowds to translate navigation structures.  Nico Vera. 11 February 2008. ¡Bienvenidos a Facebook en Español!. The Facebook Blog. https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=10005792130 [Accessed: 5 March 2012] In just under two years they added over 70 languages to Facebook. However, Facebook has had some bumps along the way as DropBox points out in their post talking about their experience in translating their products and services.  Dan Wheeler. 18 April 2011. Translating Dropbox. http://tech.dropbox.com/?p=1 [Accessed: 5 March 2011]
Basically create a subsite for each language and then only show which pages have content in that language. Wikipedia does this. Wikipedia has a menu on the left side with links to articles with this same title in other languages. Only languages which have an article started in them on that title are shown in the menu.
SIL International in English
Other Pages in other languages may not show the same content.
Finally, create a cascading structure for each page or content area. So there is a primary language and a secondary language or a tertiary, or a quaternary language etc. based on the browser language of choice with country IP playing a secondary role. If there is no page for the primary language then the next in preference will show. This last option has been preferred by some because if an organization wants to present content to a user, then obviously, it would be in the users’ primary language. But if the content is not available in the primary language then the organization would want to still let the user know that the content exists in another language.
It would also be good to understand the concepts used in Drupal 7 (and Drupal 8) for multi-lingual content. There are several resources which I have found helpful:
Localized and Multi-Lingual Content in Drupal 7 Karen Stevenson. 17 November 2011. Localized and Multi-Lingual Content in Drupal 7. Lullabot Ideas. http://www.lullabot.com/articles/localized-and-multi-lingual-content-drupal-7 [Accessed: 5 March … Continue reading
Karen Stevenson. 17 November 2011. Localized and Multi-Lingual Content in Drupal 7. Lullabot Ideas. http://www.lullabot.com/articles/localized-and-multi-lingual-content-drupal-7 [Accessed: 5 March 2011]
Gábor Hojtsy. 31 January 2011. Drupal 7’s new multilingual systems (part 4) – Node translation. http://hojtsy.hu/blog/2011-jan-31/drupal-7039s-new-multilingual-systems-part-4-node-translation [Accessed: 5 March 2011]
This post is a open draft! It might be updated at any time… But was last updated on at .
In this reviewRegardless of the views expressed here in this review, it should be stated that I have high hopes for Webonary’s future. Some of the people working on Webonary are my colleagues so I attempt hedge my review with the understanding that this is not the final state of Webonary. I am excited that easy to use technology, like WordPress is being used, and that minority language groups around the world have the opportunity to use free software like webonary. I will be looking at the WordPress plugin, Webonary and several associated issues. Continue reading →
I have been looking into some
I have been Looking at different ways to make SIL’s digital research content more interactive, findable, and usable. Today I found http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/. It is interesting how they approach the facets of Location, Projects, Publications, and People up in the right hand corner. I think they did a good job. The site feels like it is balanced.
For the last few weeks I have been thinking about how can one measure the impact on a language due to a language communities' contact with other languages. I have been looking for ways that remoteness has been measured in the past. I recently ran across a note on my iPhone from when I was in Mexico dated March 8, 2011.
A metric for measuring the language language shift, contact, and relatedness of indigenous languages of Mexico
The formation of aerial features
Trade and social networks
Roads travel opportunities
I remember writing this note: I was standing in front of a topographical map showing terrain regions. This map also had the language areas of Mexico outlined. It occurred to me (having also recently had a conversation with a local anthropologist on the matter of trade routes and mountain passes) that as a factor in language endangerment that these sorts of factors should be accounted for and if it can be accounted for then it should also be able to be graphed (on a map of course). The major issue being that if one just plots a language area without showing population/speaker density in that area then the viewer of that map will get a warped view of the language situation. Population density also does not solely infer where language attrition will likely not occur. And language contact does not automatically happen on the edges of a language area. That is to say, in a country with mountain passes, there will likely be more language contact in the passes as various groups travel to market than in higher elevated mountain villages. This leads to the issue of language diffusion and the representation of language diffusion. But the issue is not just one of language diffusion, it is also one of population diffusion, and population mobility and accessibility to various areas. So in terms of projecting, assessing and plotting language vitality, considering remoteness should be part of the equation. But remoteness is not just a factor on its own, it is more of an index considering the issues mentioned above but specifically considering the issues of geographical remoteness and considering the issues of social remoteness (or contact, even with other villages and cities in the same language and ethnic communities).
I am not currently aware of any index, much less a project which plots this index to a geographical area. However, I have found some previous work worth mentioning which might be related and relevant.
Modeling Language Diffusion With ArcGIS
There is an interesting paper and project on modeling language diffusion with ArcGIS. It was prepared for Worldmap.org by Christopher Deckert in 2004 and presented at the 24th ESRI users conference.  Christopher Deckert. 2004. Modeling Language Diffusion With ArcGIS. Paper published in the proceedings of the 24th Annual Esri International User Conference, August 9–13, 2004. … Continue reading
Remote Areas of the World
The magazine NewScientist has an article from April 2009  Caroline Williams. 20 April 2009. NewScientist. Where's the remotest place on Earth?. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227041.500-wheres-the-remotest-place-on-earth.html. [Link] [Accessed: 27 … Continue reading about the Remotes places in the world it has several maps and abstractions showing how remote (with reference to travel time) places in the world are. The following maps come from the NewScientist article.
Map showing the access ability from one point to another.
Detail of roads in west Africa
Map showing the remoteness of the Tibetan Plateau
The ASGC Remoteness Structure
Another promising resource I found is the ASGC Remoteness Structure which Australia has developed to show how remote parts of Australia are. There is a series of papers explaining the methods behind the algorithms used and the purpose of the study. One of the outputs was the map below.  Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. 2001, Measuring Remoteness: Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), Revised Edition, Occasional Papers: New Series No. 14 [PDF] [Link] … Continue reading
Australia Remoteness Map
The Territoriality of Public Health Governance in Mexico
The last resource I am going to mention here is The Territoriality of Public Health Governance in Mexico. A study which plots the Remoteness of Health Care in Mexico.  Alberto Díaz-Cayeros and Justin Levitt. August 30, 2011. The Territoriality of Public Health Governance in Mexico. http://irps.ucsd.edu/assets/001/502971.pdf [PDF] [Accessed: 12 February 2012]
Christopher Deckert. 2004. Modeling Language Diffusion With ArcGIS. Paper published in the proceedings of the 24th Annual Esri International User Conference, August 9–13, 2004. http://proceedings.esri.com/library/userconf/proc04/docs/pap1071.pdf [PDF] [Accessed: 27 February 2011]
Caroline Williams. 20 April 2009. NewScientist. Where's the remotest place on Earth?. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227041.500-wheres-the-remotest-place-on-earth.html. [Link] [Accessed: 27 February 2011]
Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. 2001, Measuring Remoteness: Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), Revised Edition, Occasional Papers: New Series No. 14 [PDF] [Link] [Accessed: 2 February 2012]
This paper is motivated by an experience in collecting, analyzing, and then redeploying (sharing while making relevant to other corporate SIL functions) corporate intellectual assets. These assets are relevant to both products SIL products and services and corporate processes. This paper attempts to document some of the current challenges presented to the SIL staff person as well as present some items for consideration in overcoming these challenges. Continue reading →