The Institute on Collaborative Language Research (CoLang) was be held on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2016. The institute was designed to provide an opportunity for community language activists and linguists to receive training in community-based language documentation and revitalization. The Institute has previously been convened in California, Oregon, Kansas, and Texas, and attracts a diverse range of participants from across the globe. Instructors include some of the world’s leading experts in language documentation. The collections in this sub-community contain materials from the CoLang 2016 workshops.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Working with Archival Materials

    Gehr, Susan; Lukaniec, Megan (2016-06)
    As more languages become dormant each year, there is a growing need to develop and disseminate research methods for working with archival documents. This workshop is aimed primarily toward beginning and intermediate participants who either are currently working with or intend to work with archival materials. The workshop will focus primarily on providing and developing skills to accomplish research and revitalization goals through the use of archival documents. Therefore, there will be hands on practice in class as well as regular assignments for participants. These assignments will allow students to begin working with these materials during the workshop itself, to discuss these methods with fellow participants, and to fix any potential pitfalls or obstacles during the initial stages of this process.
  • Unangam Tunuu

    Berge, Anna; Dirks, Moses (2016-06)
    This workshop prepares the student for the 3-week practicum focusing on fieldwork on a sleeping or less accessible language using archival materials; the language we focus on (for both the workshop and practicum) is Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Aleut, ISO 6390ale). The workshop class will cover the language and cultural history, linguistic structure, the history of language documentation and description in Unangam Tunuu, and the main resources and foci of previous linguistic research. Students will be required to do the readings and to familiarize themselves with leading articles or reference books in the field, in particular with the Aleut Dictionary and Aleut Grammar by Knut Bergsland. Time permitting, we will do some group activities using these reference sources.
  • Transcription

    Urua, Eno-Abasi (2016-06)
    Transcription, the written representation of spoken human language, is vital to any language documentation and revitalization project. This hands-on workshop introduces participants to a variety of different transcription methodologies for various purposes. The workshop primarily focuses two types of transcription: (i) phonetic transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet and (ii) discourse transcription where elements of well-known transcription systems are introduced (Conversation Analysis – developed at UC Santa Barbara). The workshop emphasizes the nuts and bolts of these transcription systems and how to apply transcription practices to documentation and revitalization projects.
  • Teaching and Leaerning an Indigenous Language

    Peter, Hishinlai' (2016-06)
    Students will be able to (1) listen and participate in the discussin of an Indigenous language learner as he speaks about his experiences in learning his ancestral language from the language classroom; (2) understand the basis of the language classroom, and expectations of the students from the teaching perspective; (3) understand and participate in the revieiw of the curriculum of the class; (4) understand the basis of lesson plans ad be able to create them to support language learning goals; (5) understand how to engage students in the process of acquiring the language; and (6) understand the role of grammar in the classroom.
  • Talk it up! — Integrating and prioritizing conversational data in documentation

    Williams, Nicholas; Stenzel, Kristine; Fox, Barbara (2016-06)
    This course will introduce participants to some of the basic methodological and theoretical issues related to recording and analyzing everyday conversations. We will discuss specific contributions of naturalistic interactions to understanding aspects of linguistic structure, social interaction, and culture and explore how interactional data can be better integrated into language documentation projects.
  • Life in Communities

    Gildea, Spike; Labrada, Jorge Emilio Rosés (2016-06)
    Given the widely recognized danger the world’s languages face at the present time, there has been a major expansion of language documentation and linguistic description, which requires what has been traditionally referred to as linguistic fieldwork. We generally prepare our students to undertake this work through field methods courses but “[w]hile we generally do a very thorough job of teaching how to elicit and analyze data, we often forget to tell them that there is a personal and practical side to fieldwork that can very well derail their research if they are not prepared for it.” (Macauley, 2004:194). The overall goal of this workshop is, therefore, to familiarize the students with the personal and practical dimensions of fieldwork.
  • Spatial Visualization and Language Documentation

    Hildebrandt, Kristine (2016-06)
    Maps and atlases (collections of maps) can be an important and extremely useful part of the toolkit for examining and interpreting variation and change in language documentation and in projects aimed at maintenance, promotion or revitalization. They allow for orderly and illuminating generalizations to be drawn from often unruly distributions of patterns. They also allow for a birds-eye view of patterns across large populations or large geographic and temporal spaces. Although maps cannot tell the whole story behind languages and varieties, they are one way in which we can provide context or approach explanation for interesting or unexpected patterns or phenomena. Traditionally, map-making has been the sole domain of cartographers or those with large grant budgets, but with new advances in free, shareable technology that is easy to learn, interactive spatial visualization of language data is possible at all levels of organization, from multicollaborator to the individual. This four-part workshop will introduce participants to the ways that maps and atlases have been used in language research and community outreach.
  • Project Planning

    Florey, Margaret (2016-06)
    This workshop provides a sound foundation in project planning and development. It is aimed primarily at those people who are relatively new to planning language projects. Over four sessions, participants will identify the project goals and objectives, proposed outcomes, the target audience, and the project team members and their skills and roles. They will map out the activities and projected timeline together with a preliminary implementation plan. We will explore strategic plans and look at how each step of a project fits strategically into wider goals for the language. We consider ethical issues, community protocols and regulations that need to be addressed. Participants will identify their key project goal, and will prepare a succinct summary of the project that can be used in the next stage of attracting publicity and seeking funding.
  • Documentation of Orature

    Udoh, Imelda; Iwoketok, Uwemedimo (2016-06)
    Orature is an amalgamation of two words: oral and literature. It depicts the creative impulse of the society it evolves from. This artistic expression includes proverbs, riddles, extemporized poems/songs, folktales, childlore, etc. The general observation is that attention has been given to aspects of Orature by adults almost to the exclusion of children’s artistic expression. There is no doubt that some aspects of our collective Orature has been put in print. However, much more is yet to be documented. It is also often not considered that both adults and children draw their experiences from the same setting, they employ the same language and discuss the same socio-cultural issues; they express the same hopes and aspirations. In fact adults very quickly forget that they were once children as they quite often look down on childhood tradition. On the other hand, how quickly their faces radiate with nostalgic laughter/smile as they recall some of the childhood games they played. For a holistic documentation therefore, it is necessary that the artistic creation of adults together with those of children should be collected, collated, analysed and properly documented either for revitalization or for archiving.
  • Integrating Experimental Methods, Language Documentation, and (Linguistic) Theory

    Lee, Seunghun; Temkin Martínez, Michal (2016-06)
    Language documentation and linguistic theories mutually benefit from cooperation - data from documentation propels linguistic theories, and different theories can inform the collection of language materials. A wide array of rich, naturally occurring data collected in language documentation settings has long informed and been used for the basis for typological assertions and to further linguistic inquiry (Palosaari and Campbell 2011, Himmelmann 2012). On the other hand, O’Grady et al. (2009) use psycholinguistic theory and methods to aid in the documentation and assessment of language fluency that can be used for revitalization efforts. Additionally, the integration of experimental methods in language documentation has assisted in scientifically defining certain articulatory and acoustic parameters which are otherwise impossible to attain using only traditional documentation methodology (Miller 2008, Miller et al. 2009, Miller and Finch 2011). During this workshop, participants will learn about the incorporation of experimental methods focusing on elicitations and traditional approaches to language documentation into linguistic theory. The workshop will consist of a combination of theory, examples, and hands-on activity in an active learning format, with an emphasis on participant-led inquiry. Data will be drawn from various language families
  • Grant-Writing

    Gildea, Spike; Florey, Margaret (2016-06)
    This course provides an overview of the key national and international funding agencies. The essential information that is commonly required by funding agencies is reviewed and explored section-by- section. Students will practise writing sections of a mock proposal and will receive feedback about what works and what doesn’t in grant applications. Ethical and intellectual property issues are discussed and we examine the requirements for carrying out effective projects consistent with community protocols.
  • Ethnography in Language Documentation and Revitalization

    Shulist, Sarah; Rice, Faun (2016-06)
    This workshop will focus on training participants to use ethnographic methodologies in the development and implementation of projects for both language documentation and revitalization. The target audience includes community linguists and academic linguists with an intermediate to advanced level of knowledge about language programs, but without any extensive training in anthropology and ethnography. The goal is to provide this group of language activists with an additional set of tools for use in enhancing the efficacy and comprehensiveness of their documentary and revitalization work.
  • Field Methods for Hän Athabascan (ISO 639-3 haa), an Athabaskan language of Alaska and Yukon Territory

    DeReuse, Willem (2016-06)
    Experience in the discovery and documentation of the phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics of an endangered language through techniques of elicitation, text collection and analysis of data, with a particulalr focus on how such techniques will be valuable to indigenous researchers and communities seeking to preserve or revitalize their linguistic heritage.
  • Cultural Impact on Community Linguistics

    Dardar, Hali (Presented at CoLang 2016, 2016-06)
    Student learning objectives: Increase student’s ability to communicate and empathize with community member’s subjects on contemporary cultural concerns. Increase student’s knowledge of citable sources for defending community issues as relevant in linguistic research proposals. Increase student’s understanding of concepts, literature, and terminology for communication on topics in cultural revitalization. Challenge students to apply concepts into contemporary community environments in order for students to incorporate linguistic research into cultural revitalization needs.
  • FLEx2 Syllabus

    Morgan, Juliet (Presented at CoLang 2016, 2016-06)
    The FLEx II workshop will assume an existing foundation of knowledge from the FLEx I course or an equivalent from personal experience. The FLEx II course explore what can be done with an existing database, including possible products and work flows with other programs.
  • FLEx1 Syllabus

    Morgan, Juliet (Presented at CoLang 2016, 2016-06)
    Students will leave the class with a basic understanding of the program, which I hope will encourage them to further explore the many possibilities of FLEx for language documentation, description, and revitalization work.
  • ELAN I and II Syllabus

    Berez-Kroeker, Andrea; Cox, Christopher (2016-06)
    This workshop provides a practical introduction to ELAN (, a common documentary linguistic software tool for developing time-aligned transcripts of multimedia language materials. Through this two-part course, participants will gain hands-on experience in creating customized time-aligned transcripts in ELAN and in applying ELAN to accomplish common tasks in language documentation, description, and revitalization.
  • Language and Wellness

    Whalen, Doug; Taff, Alice (2016-06)
    Workshop Title: Language and Wellness Instructor’s name and email: Doug Whalen (; Alice Taff ( Course materials: Whalen, D. H., Moss, M. P., & Baldwin, D. (2016). Healing through language: Positive physical health effects of indigenous language use [version 1; referees: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research, 5(852). doi: 0.12688/f1000research.8656.1
  • Consent, Rights, and Intellectual Property: Navigating Language Documentation, Archiving, and Research

    Kung, Susan; Alexander, Edward (Presented at CoLang 2016, 2016-06)
    Colang 2016 Workshop Syllabus Workshop Title: Consent, Rights, and Intellectual Property: Navigating Language Documentation, Archiving, and Research