ELK-Tech

Endangered Language
Knowledge meets
Technology

Who we are

Created in March 2019, our ELK-Tech (Endangered Language Knowledge and Technology) group brings together people in linguistics, applied linguistics, geography & environmental studies, computer science, and information technology, working in partnership with global endangered language communities. We are based at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Our goal

To adapt and develop, in partnership with endangered language communities, digital tools that:

  • are easy to access and simple to use
  • are relevant to the everyday lives of community members
  • support collaborative language learning and documentation
  • encourage social interactions and relationships
  • require minimal technological resources

The ELK Centre

(projected completion date: Summer 2022)

We are currently setting up an Endangered Language Knowledge Sharing and Research Centre (ELK Centre) at Carleton University a space to facilitate, adapt and develop digital tools that enable endangered language communities in their aspirations and efforts to document and revitalize their languages.


The ELK Centre will:
  • be an inclusive and welcoming space that brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge and practices
  • serve as a space to develop and strengthen respectful relationships between researchers and Indigenous and minority language communities, leading to collaborative development of language-related technologies
  • be a place where community members with a commitment to documenting, maintaining and revitalizing their language can test novel digital language tools, interact with tool developers, and learn about the technology involved
  • consist of a meeting room outfitted with an Indigenous-crafted meeting table and remote networking equipment, and a technology lab with computer hardware and workstations, allowing for design, development, testing, and networking activities to take place in a welcoming and productive environment
  • supply portable computing and recording devices to be used off-campus in language communities

Our activities

Our first event was a two-day gathering at Carleton University on Sept. 27th and 28th, 2019 where we explored user experiences with existing digital tools and considered additional tools and features desired by language communities.

Kumiko Murasugi represented ELK-Tech at UNESCO's International Conference Language Technologies for All (LT4ALL) in Paris, France, December 4-6, 2019.

Erik Anonby and Rebekah Ingram presented two collaborative papers by ELK-Tech members, "Surveying Digital Tools for Endangered Languages" and "The Ahsentati Three-Sided Model: a wholistic approach to language loss and revitalization using the Haudenosaunee Ash Basketry Example", at the Foundation for Endangered Languages conference (FELXXIII) in Sydney, Australia, December 13-16, 2019.

Meet the people behind ELK-Tech

School of Linguistics and Language Studies

Erik Anonby
Kumiko Murasugi
Mike Barker
Lev Blumenfeld
Christopher Cox
Rebekah Ingram
Eva Kartchava
Michael Rodgers
Jaffer Sheyholislami
Adam Stone
Ida Toivonen

School of Computer Science

David Mould
Olga Baysal
Majid Komeili
Oliver van Kaick

School of Information Technology

Omair Shafiq

Geography and Environmental Studies, Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC)

Amos Hayes
Peter Pulsifer
Fraser Taylor

To contact us, please email Erik, Kumiko or David by clicking their names above.

ELK-Tech
School of Linguistics and Language Studies
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1S 5B6

Digital Tools for Endangered Languages: Listening, Learning and Looking Ahead (past event)

On September 27th and 28th we hosted a gathering of people involved in language documentation and revitalization. Invited participants included language educators, program administrators and researchers working on language documentation and technology. We shared our knowledge and experiences with existing digital language tools (computer software, apps, etc.) and considered additional tools and features desired by language communities. Click here for the conference program.

The following invited speakers and ELK-Tech members gave presentations at the meeting:

A report of the meeting (with photographs) can be found on the website of Carleton's School of Linguistics and Language Studies.