Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

9/1/2009 - 7/31/2011

Funding Totals

$24,999.00 (approved)
$24,999.00 (awarded)

Computer-Based Data Processing and Management for Blackfoot Phonetics and Phonology

FAIN: HD-50840-09

University of Montana (Missoula, MT 59801-4494)
Mizuki Miyashita (Project Director: April 2009 to February 2012)

Development of a database to store and manage sound clips of the Blackfoot language.

More than half of the 6000 world languages have never been adequately described. We propose to create a database system to automatically capture and manage interested sound clips in Blackfoot (an endangered language spoken in Alberta, Canada, and Montana) for a phonetic and phonological analysis. Taking Blackfoot speeches as input, the system generates a list of audio clips containing a sequence of sounds or certain accent patterns based on research interests. Existing computational linguistic techniques such as information processing and artificial intelligence are extended to tackle issues specific to Blackfoot linguistics, and database techniques are adopted to support better data management and linguistic queries. This project is innovative because application of technology in Native American phonetics and phonology is underdeveloped. It enhances humanity with the digital framework to document and analyze endangered languages and can also benefit the research in other languages.

Associated Products

PELDA (Web Resource)
Title: PELDA
Author: Mizuki Miyashita
Author: MinChen
Abstract: This website showcases our ongoing work in developing an online tool to support the collaborative efforts in endangered language documentation and analysis. The project code and documentation are made available for public use, doublechecking and extension. The web application has been deployed at source code for the web application and services is hosted on and the documentation about API can be seen at .
Year: 2014
Primary URL: