The Linguistic Association Of Nigerian (LAN) Langauge Documentation Institute (LDI) — (LAN-LDI 2018)
The Language Documentation Institute held between 16th to 22nd September, 2018 at the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, (NERDC) Sheda Abuja Federal Capital Territory. The grant for the workshop was provided by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and additional support from the NERDC, while LAN provided counterpart funding for the Institute.
The LDI which covered five working days of workshops in nine subject areas had a total of thirty-six credit hours. It was an instructional programme designed for doctoral students and early career linguists interested in the documentation, description, development and revitalization of Nigerian languages. Although the Postgraduate students formed the majority, there were some slots for early career linguists, language activists and interested community members. This was intended to provide some level of sustainability and inclusion as well as community participation.
Some of the topics taught during the one week Workshop include the following: Introduction to Language Documentation, Data Management & Archiving, Phonemic Analysis & Orthography, Research Grant Writing & Linguistic Fieldwork, Corpus Linguistics & Lexicography, Life in Community & Orature, Language Policy, Revitalization & Teaching, and Multilingual Cyberspace
Instructors who taught at the Language Documentation Institute are, Profs. URUA, Eno-Abasi; CARON, Bernard; EGBOKHARE, Francis; OBIAMALU, Greg; ADÉNÍYÌ, Harrison; HEUSING, Gerald; UDOH, Imelda and AMFANI, Ahmed. Others are: Drs. ADEGBOLA; Tunde; EKPENYONG, Moses and Mr. IMARA, Oviemuno.
The goals of the LDI include the following:
a. exchange of ideas in the area language documentation, description, development and revitalization;
b. train extensively doctoral, graduate students and communities on ways and manners of documenting Nigerian languages that will assist drastically in salvaging these languages from the ‘jaw of death’.
c. train extensively, doctoral students in Linguistics, ways of carrying out successful research to scholarly writing of their doctoral thesis;
d. demonstration and application of language theories, techniques, skills to field and real-life situations;
e. hands-on exploration of technological tools for data collection, annotation and application;
f. provide networking opportunities between this crop of budding linguists and explore lessons from other countries with more resolute approach to language documentation and protection.
OUTCOME OF THE INSTITUTE
At the end of the Institute, participants were:
a. better equipped and knowledgeable in linguistic documentation using modern tools;
b. better equipped to document the various Nigerian languages and cultures that are at the brink of extinction thereby reducing the rate at which our languages and cultures are annihilated
c. better equipped in the theories and practice of research work leading to the award of a PhD.
d. better equipped for scholarly writing and publishing of academic papers for improved productivity on the job.
e. capable of engaging more in the documentation of the vast number of endangered languages in Nigeria;
f. better trained in peculiar ways of grant-writing specifically for language documentation, as well as use of language attitudinal surveys;
g. able to develop collaborative skills in language documentation fieldwork