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Grant number like: HD-50840-09

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

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper][Grant products]

$24,999 (approved)
$24,999 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2009 – 7/31/2011

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

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.