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Community-based orthography development engages the native speakers as custodians of the language in decisions about how it should be written. While there are various guidelines on how to go about such an activity, examples of the implementation and resulting challenges are underrepresented in the literature. This paper describes a workshop which brought together native speakers from four Bantu languages of Western Zambia to establish writing systems for their languages (Fwe, Mashi, Makoma and Kwangwa) and considers some of the linguistic and non-linguistic issues involved in initial development of writing systems.
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