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This year's workshop proceedings can be viewed here.


This is the 4th E-MELD (Electronic Metastructure for Endangered Languages Data) workshop on language engineering, and is sponsored by NSF. This year's conference will focus on the use of databases and best practices in language digitization.

The E-MELD (Electronic Metastructure for Endangered Languages Data) Project is a five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation with a dual objective: to aid in the preservation of endangered languages data and documentation and to aid in the development of the infrastructure necessary for effective collaboration among electronic archives. As part of the effort to promote consensus on best practices in digital language resources, E-MELD is hosting its fourth workshop on issues in digitizing endangered language documentation July 15-18, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan.

The focus for the 2004 workshop will be 'Databases and Best Practice'. A database can be a valuable utility in handling linguistic data, and although the use of a database in itself does not promote digital best practices, there are ways to use databases that are consonant with best practice. Current recommendations in the E-MELD School of Best Practice include archiving irreplaceable text data in .txt file format with XML markup; however, this format is not always optimal for working with linguistic data. Using a database can be a valuable tool for managing linguistic data.

The workshop will consist of general sessions, demonstrations of tools useful for linguistic data preparation, and working group sessions in which the workshop participants will provide input on best practices in digital language documentation and advise on the expansion of the School of Best Practice. We particularly welcome the participation of field linguists in the workshop.

For more information, visit the E-MELD website or the School of Best Practice, or e-mail us.

  E-MELD Conference 2003: Interlinear Text
E-MELD Conference 2002: Digitizing Lexical Information
E-MELD Conference 2001: The Need for Standards



Anthony Aristar
Helen Aristar-Dry
The National Science Foundation
The Linguist List

Program Committee

Contributing Institutions

Laura Buszard-Welcher
Veronica Grondona
Martha Ratliff
Eastern Michigan University
Wayne State University

Arrangements Committee


Naomi Fox (Coordinator)
Marie Klopfenstein
Andrea Berez
Ann Sawyer
Steven Moran (Webmaster: School of Best Practice)
Tomoko Okuno (Conference Webmaster)
Takako Matsui

Papers and Handouts
Instructions for Participants
Working Groups
Local Arrangements
Other Workshops E-MELD Homepage