Deciphering the World's Unwritten Languages

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Harding (Marriott Wardman Park)
Steven Bird, University of Melbourne and UC Berkeley, Melbourne, Australia
Ninety percent of the world's languages exist in spoken form only. Each one encapsulates the unique history, culture, and cosmology of its speakers. Now that the remotest languages can be recorded using smartphones, we just need a key to ensure that these recordings can be deciphered in the future. I will describe new mobile software and a new face-to-face multilingual storytelling format that are being used to support the analysis, preservation and revitalization of the world's unwritten languages.