Sustaining Australian Indigenous languages - how can technology help?

  • Bow, Cathy (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)

Project: HDR ProjectPhD


Digital technologies are commonly used in the work of maintaining and revitalising Australian Indigenous languages, supporting the documentation, analysis, sharing and promotion of these important yet endangered repositories of cultural heritage. The capacity of digital technologies to 'save' languages is often overstated, and the sustainability of the technologies themselves interacts with the sustainability of the languages.
My research focuses on three digital assemblages of language resources: the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages, the Digital Language Shell project, and the online Bininj Kunwok language and culture course. Using an 'ethnography of infrastructure' approach, I consider how these assemblages are developed, delivered and used. In exploring the alliances of people, technologies, institutions, artefacts, pedagogies and knowledge systems involved in producing such assemablages, the contingent nature of these alliances is revealed. These contingent alliances - constantly in flux and vulnerable to various threats - impact the sustainability of the digital resources, and intersect with the languages and the linguistic ecologies in which they exist.
Effective start/end date1/06/16 → …