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Fostering digital representation of EU regional and minority languages: the Digital Language Diversity Project

Fostering digital representation of EU regional and minority languages: the Digital Language Diversity Project

During the time frame of the DLDP, the Digital Language Diversity Scale measuring tool will be applied to a limi- ted number of case studies, representing very different de- grees of digital language representation and use. Four EU regional/minority languages will be investigated in detail so as to precisely assess their position on the Digital Language Vitality Scale: Sardinian (srd), Karelian (krl), Basque (eus) and Breton (bre) 4 . The investigation will be per- formed by means of a survey that is currently being develo- ped at the time of writing. The survey is developed on the basis of previous work carried out in the area of ethnolin- guistic vitality, such as the ELDIA Barometer ( ˚ Akermark et al., 2013), and other inquiries addressing specifically digi- tal use of languages and availability and usability of digital resources and media 5 .
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The DLDP Survey on Digital Use and Usability of EU Regional and Minority Languages

The DLDP Survey on Digital Use and Usability of EU Regional and Minority Languages

The digital development of regional and minority languages requires careful planning to be effective and should be preceded by the identification of the current and actual extent to which those languages are used digitally, the type and frequency of their digital use, the opportunity for their use, and the main obstacles currently preventing it. This paper reports about the design, the results and the key findings of an exploratory survey launched by the Digital Language Diversity Project about the digital use and usability of regional and minority languages on digital media and devices. The aim of the survey - the first of this kind - was to investigate the real usage, needs and expectations of European minority language speakers regarding digital opportunities, with a strong focus on electronic communication. The survey is restricted to four languages (Basque, Breton, Karelian and Sardinian) at different stages of digital development, which offers a starting point to develop strategies for assessing digital vitality of these languages and overcoming specific difficulties such as, for instance, the lack of official data.
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Regional and Minority languages in the European Union: a comparative study

Regional and Minority languages in the European Union: a comparative study

In the late 1980s and early 1990s however, a debate on language policy started. Many scholars and intellectuals engaged in debates regarding the language regime of the European Union and its language policies, and discussing possible alternatives. The concerns were also related to the increased cooperation and the coming of the Treaty of Maastricht. American political scientist Jonathan Pool in 1996, while exploring the question of an “optimal language regime for the European Union”, provides us with a short overview of some views on the language policy of the early 1990s: “With the EU becoming more active and considering the admission of additional member states, the struggle over official languages has begun to resemble a crisis over official languages. Observers have described the EU's choice of official languages as ''potentially explosive" (Coulmas 1991 b: 6) and as having potentially calamitous effects. Among these effects are the corruption (Born 1992; Haberland and Henriksen 1991) or death (Pavlidou 1991: 286) of languages; the collapse of translation services (Haarmann 1991: 20; Roche 1991: 144); damaging costs, delays, and misunderstandings in
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To the benefit of Europe's languages

To the benefit of Europe's languages

This text endorses the previous Resolutions and introduces some new elements: to support the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and to call the Member State governements[r]

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The French Constitutional Council as the Rottweiler of the Republican Ideal in the Language Field: Does Jurisprudence Really Reflect Reality? EDAP 03/2012, 2012

The French Constitutional Council as the Rottweiler of the Republican Ideal in the Language Field: Does Jurisprudence Really Reflect Reality? EDAP 03/2012, 2012

To put matters in the right chronological order, one has to say that the French Council of State (Conseil d’État) was the first high court to deliver an opinion on this matter, namely the compatibility of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities with the French Constitution. 42 Interrogated by the Prime Minister, the Council of State argued that the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was not compatible with the French Constitution. 43 The government, backed by parliament and a favourable legal analysis by a university professor, 44 decided to push through and signed the Charter. The President of the Republic, in doubt about the constitutionality of the Charter, referred the matter to the Constitutional Council. In its abstract review of constitutionality, the Council had to assess the compatibility of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages with the French Constitution. 45 The Council found that the Charter was not compatible with the Constitution. In particular, the reference to “‘groups’ of speakers of minority languages within ‘territories’ in which these languages are used” was not acceptable to the Council. As it was argued before, in the state-nation concept there are no specific group rights; group rights are not allowed as they would violate the principle of equality before the law. There was similar Council jurisprudence relating to the rights
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A Speaking Atlas of the Regional Languages of France

A Speaking Atlas of the Regional Languages of France

Even if the modern Western world appears to be domina- ted by just a few widespread languages dialectologists in the field quickly observe a great deal of diversity. The idea of reporting this diversity on maps is not novel (Le Dû et al., 2005): from 1897 to 1901, E. Edmont traveled through France and its Gallo-Romance outskirts to carry out surveys in over 600 communes, mapped in the Atlas Linguistique de la France [ALF] (Gilliéron & Edmont, 1902–1910). Since the Second World War, the Atlas linguistiques de la France par régions (Séguy, 1973a; Tuaillon, 1976) have continued to document increasingly threatened languages and dialects — the limit between languages and dialects being ill-defined (Sibille, 2010). Recently, audio recordings have been digitised, at least for the Occitan (or Oc, Southern Gallo-Romance) domain, as part of the Thesaurus Occitan [Thesoc] (Sauzet & Brun- Trigaud, 2013) and the Francoprovençal domain, with the Atlas Multimédia de la région Rhône-Alpes [ALMuRA] (Médélice, 2008), but they are not entirely available — and the Oïl (i.e., Northern Gallo-Romance) domain is even more under-resourced (Léonard & Djordjević, 2009). Following the principle of paper dialectological atlases and benefiting from computer technology, the Corpus de la parole now gives online access to an audio corpus of great wealth (Jacobson & Baude, 2011). However, comparable data are sorely lacking, and despite national projects such as SyMiLa (http://symila.univ- tlse2.fr/), concerning syntactic variation, research on dialectal variation in France is somewhat lagging behind what is done in the Netherlands and Norway (Heeringa, 2004), Germany and Italy (Iannàccaro & Dell’Aquila, 2001), for example. The dominant position of the French language masks a linguistic diversity among the most exemplary of Europe, which the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (signed by France in 1999 but not ratified) proposed to promote. Similarly, Unesco insists on the need for multilingualism in cyber- space (Vannin et al., 2012); and general public-oriented sites are multiplying, offering people to record themselves all over the globe and asking social networks to vote for this or that recording, but without linguistic control. It is therefore important, even urgent, to collect recordings using a coordinated approach, applying a common protocol to give a better picture of the plurality of uses. A few decades ago, it would have been easier to find speakers of dialects and regional languages in France.
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Towards a Comprehensive EU Protection System for Minorities  CEPS Research Report, September 2017

Towards a Comprehensive EU Protection System for Minorities CEPS Research Report, September 2017

The Bolzano Declaration was one of a number of initiatives coming from civil society raising concerns and attention about the situation of minorities after enlargement of the EU and insisting on the new responsibilities of the EU for their treatment. Notably, the Declaration not only includes the protection of linguistic and ethnic minorities, but also expresses measures necessary for equal treatment of third-country nationals. The Bolzano Declaration has not been a one-off effort. Ten years later, another concerted effort by civil society actors to create a document to lead and drive EU policy towards greater inclusion of minorities and minority languages produced a Minority Safepack Initiative. In 2013, the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), which includes among its directors a number of elected officials in Germany and Central Europe, developed the Minority Safepack Initiative. The FUEN is based on a CoE context (rather than EU) but the initiative is EU-oriented: designed to convince the EU to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities and strengthen cultural and linguistic diversity in the Union. It calls upon the EU to adopt a set of legal acts for these purposes, including policy actions in the areas of regional and minority languages, education and culture, regional policy, participation, equality, audio-visual and other media content, and also regional (state) support. 172
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Multilingual education : the role of language ideologies and attitudes

Multilingual education : the role of language ideologies and attitudes

In sharp contrast, hostility to underprivileged and socially marginalised linguistic minorities can have very disruptive effects on integration. Eckert reflects on the failure of language planning for Romani in the Czech Republic where, unlike Basque in the BAC, Romani has no associations with positive social identity. In contrast to Basque, Romani suffers from low vitality and its communities are small and highly dispersed, generally living on or below the poverty line. Romani is a stigmatised language with very low prestige and the Roma people are under intense pressure to assimilate into Czech society. Eckert questions whether the European Union Charter for Regional and Minority Languages can protect minority cultures in a policy climate dominated by standard language ideology. She suggests that aversion to diversity and the dominant ideology of standard Czech serve to entrench the marginalisation of the Roma, a situation that is exacerbated by top-down language planning with which the Roma people have not engaged. The social divisions between the Czechs and the Roma are actively reinforced in the media and exclusionary practices are common. Standard language ideologies hostile to the teaching of Romani in schools provide continued justification for the exclusion of the Roma and obstructing their full participation in Czech society. Such attitudes, as Eckert points out, are directly opposed to the European ‘two plus one’ language policy (i.e., being able to use two languages in addition to a first language or mother tongue).
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The Creation of Large Scale Annotated Corpora of Minority Languages using UniParser and the EANC platform

The Creation of Large Scale Annotated Corpora of Minority Languages using UniParser and the EANC platform

To use the EANC platform with another corpus, we had to rewrite the language-specific parts of the user interface. These include, for example, a form where one can specify grammar query with the help of checkboxes, every checkbox corresponding to one of the grammatical tags used in the corpus, such as "inessive case". To do that in a more efficient way, we wrote a Python script which takes a simple csv table with all grammatical features of the language and transforms it into the PHP file used in the interface. Parts concerning the writing system were also rewritten, namely the transliteration system and the virtual keyboard. The indexer and the datafile system remained intact and works fine with languages other than Armenian without additional adjustments, provided one doesn't need any additional features. 3 UniParser
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The Bai Language: A Musical Language with Typological Ablative Cases

The Bai Language: A Musical Language with Typological Ablative Cases

The language of one nationality construes the experiential into words and sounds. It can go further to establish the real world [12]. The typological universal feature of having the tetra-syllabic formation among the minority languages northwestern Yunnan province testifies to the relation among language, social communication and cognition. There is a relation of co-existing and co-enhancing. To be specific, languages work to facilitate hu- man communication and cognition. On the other hand, social communication and the habit of human cognition enhance the evolvement of languages. The functions of social communication and cognizing the world deter- mine the features of a language. And a minority language needs evolve to be the most musical and suitable for its preservation, its spreading in the duration of its strategic competition with the force of dominant languages. The inflective changes mentioned in this paper illustrate how the morphological changes help realize the gram- matical functions in Bai. This is a consequence of the oral language’s natural choice in its long-term evolution.
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Languages and National Identity: Relevance of Dialect in Hausa Regional Identity

Languages and National Identity: Relevance of Dialect in Hausa Regional Identity

Dialect refers to the variation that exists in the use of language by the speakers of the same language living in different location, Sani (2009:2). Yahaya (2013:106) argued that dialectical variation is refers to the different varieties of language spoken in different geographical location or by different categories of speakers of language based on age, gender and social status. Hausa Dialect therefore as termed by linguist is refers to the variety of a language that is characterizes of a particular group of the language speakers which is sometimes applied to regional speech pattern cause as a result of geographical, social as well as linguistic factors.
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Sustainability Knowledge Assessment at a Large, Regional, Minority-Serving Institution

Sustainability Knowledge Assessment at a Large, Regional, Minority-Serving Institution

sustainability including gender (boys and girls play differently), ethnicity (different cultures have different views on outdoor play), geography (urban and rural children have different access to natural settings). In fact, there are documented differences in the environmental literacy of each of these groups. Rural students scored higher than urban students on knowledge assessments in both Iowa and Finland (O’Brien, 2007; Tikka, Kuitunen, & Tynys, 2000). Some researchers have found that people from minority ethnicities have less engagement with sustainability issues (Johnson et al., 2004; Morrone et al., 2001; Zimmermann, 1996), though others have argued that this gap is only prevalent at low income and educational levels; there may be little difference between ethnicities when controlling for education level (Caron, 1989). Thus far, much of the pioneering work in sustainability literacy has been conducted on campuses with comparatively low minority populations. In this paper, we characterize the sustainability knowledge at our institution, a minority-serving university, and compare our findings to those of schools with different demographics.
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Language education policy and practice in East and Southeast Asia

Language education policy and practice in East and Southeast Asia

emergence of Japanese as a victorious military power at the end of the nineteenth century, the impulse to westernise slowed down and a stronger nationalistic discourse emerged. Japan increasingly distanced itself from foreign language education in the period leading up to the Second World War, as the dominant language taught, English, was increasingly perceived as an enemy language and therefore as a threat (Kitao & Kitao 1995) and a greater emphasis was placed on the role of Japanese in education (Amano 1990). Following the war, foreign language education at tertiary level was reinstated but in 1991 its status was changed from a compulsory subject to an optional one and language enrolments subsequently decreased. This decrease affected English less than other languages, which now are mainly taught as second foreign languages to very small cohorts of students (Kakuharu 2007; Koishi 2011; Okada 2007, Sugitani 2010). Most of the languages offered in addition to English are European languages such as French, German and Spanish, although some Chinese is also taught, Japanese remains the dominant language of instruction at tertiary level, but there has been some recent movement to English as a medium of instruction, most notably the Global 30 project, which seeks to establish degree programs taught in English as Japanese universities (Ota 2011). The rationale for these programs is however to recruit international students, and at many universities enrolment in the programs is prohibited for Japanese nationals
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Use of Regional Languages Along With English In Field Of Teaching

Use of Regional Languages Along With English In Field Of Teaching

It is correct that after graduation in real world they must be able to communicate in English, but it is their challenge. Our challenge is to make them best in their own fields. And the only way that is going to happen if they have complete knowledge and understanding of the subject. Now if there is any problem of communication between teacher and students because of language (English), we will not able to complete our challenge. Our survey shows that regional languages uses along with English language can help to improve teacher-student communication and students’ active participation in class.
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A recent edited volume in Surveillance Studies investigates the dramatic expansion of CCTV use around the globe (Doyle, Lippert and Lyon 2012). Two contributions demonstrate that an important aspect of this growth is the development of ‘smart’ or ‘intelligent’ CCTV-systems (Ferenbok and Clement 2012, Lippert and Wilkinson 2012). As suggested in the present paper’s title, we identify a kind of ‘self-referentiality’ inherent to this development: despite being almost already a thing of the past (Ferenbok and Clement 2012), the belief in the preventive capacities of closed circuit television is still alive even if many argue that it is flawed (Gill and Spriggs 2005; Doyle, Lippert and Lyon 2012: 2) Indeed, the current development of ‘smart’ CCTV and event detection highlights how deficiencies in current technological systems easily become translated into design potentials and new investments (both cultural and monetary). In this sense, the technological vision inherent to CCTV development can seem almost self-propagating, or ‘closed circuit’. It is the aim of the paper to investigate this through juxtaposing ideas in event detection literature and Minority Report. Yet even if MR is often used to invoke a sense of an automated and effective surveillance system, in our view the movie could also be interpreted in additional ways.
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Qualitative changes in ethno linguistic status : a case study of the Sorbs in Germany

Qualitative changes in ethno linguistic status : a case study of the Sorbs in Germany

DSS Yes, directly by the funded initiatives and projects placed on the protection of minority languages in Germany and elsewhere.Perhaps more importantly the EU creates an atmosphere of [r]

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Effective communication with service users

Effective communication with service users

The evidence shows that poor levels of communication have a negative effect on access to services and on relationships between service users and professionals. Problems with communication include language barriers and poor engagement with networks used by minority ethnic groups (Betancourt et al, 2002). There is also evidence of a lack of confidence or willingness on the part of both service providers and users to discuss cultural issues that may be relevant to the way services are provided. For example, how a person ’ s normal diet might fit with a recommended diet; how to take medication when fasting or travelling abroad; or how language or gender- related needs might be met (Mir and Din, 2003).
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Survey of various POS tagging techniques for
          Indian regional languages

Survey of various POS tagging techniques for Indian regional languages

6) Tagset: Apart from corpora, a well-chosen tagset is also important. The language tagset represents parts of speech and consist on syntactic classes. According to contextual and morphological structure, natural languages are different from each other [6].In the top level the following categories are identified as universal categories for all ILs and hence these are obligatory for any tagset. Some common tags: [N] Nouns [V] Verbs, [PR] Pronouns, [JJ] Adjectives, [RB] Adverbs, [PP] Postpositions, [PL] Participles, [QT] Quantifiers, [RP] Particles, [PU] Punctuations.
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The Effect of Ethnic Identity and Bilingual Confidence on Chinese Youth’s Self-Esteem

The Effect of Ethnic Identity and Bilingual Confidence on Chinese Youth’s Self-Esteem

Current studies of group identity and self-esteem have, however, problematic issues on social and research validity in terms of ethnic and cul- tural diversity. First, without considering the effect of ethnic identity and cultural differences on the multifaceted domains of self-esteem, much of the research has resulted in controversial and inconsistent findings among minority groups (Dukes & Martinez, 1994; Harper & Marshall, 1991; Mullis, Mullis, & Normandin, 1992). Second, most of the research on self-esteem re- lated to minority groups has been conducted in the US and has focused on specific ethnic groups such as African Americans and Latino Americans. There has been little research on this topic with Asian adolescents in Canada (Lan, 1992). Third, most studies have looked for correlations between various measures of group identity and self-esteem without considering other factors that may confound the relationship. It is, therefore, not clear how much group identity contributes to self-esteem in comparison with other factors such as academic performance and language competence.
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HTK Based Speech Recognition Systems for Indian Regional languages: A Review

HTK Based Speech Recognition Systems for Indian Regional languages: A Review

Communication among all human being. Human beings have long been motivated to create computer system that can understand and talk like humans. Speech Recognition is one of the important research areas. In regard of this the review of existing work on speech recognition is useful for carrying out further research. The aim of this paper is to give a brief overview of the Automatic Speech Recognition Systems which are built using HTK toolkit. This paper provides a literature survey of such systems which are built for recognizing Indian regional languages. Thirty papers are reviewed in this work from point of view of their Language, Year, Type of utterance, No. of Speakers, Utterances of each word, Recording environment, No. of words / sentences, Feature extraction technique used, Word accuracy, No. of states in HMM, Word error rate.
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