ICLDC 3 logo


THE 3RD ICLDC IS NOW PAU. Download presentation audio/slides/posters!


The 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC), “Sharing Worlds of Knowledge,” will be held February 28-March 3, 2013, at the Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus.

By popular demand, the 3rd ICLDC will be a full day longer than the previous two conferences. The conference program will feature an integrated series of Master Class workshops. An optional Hilo Field Study (on the Big Island of Hawai‘i) to visit Hawaiian language revitalization programs in action will immediately follow the conference (March 4-5).

This year’s conference theme, “Sharing Worlds of Knowledge,” intends to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of language documentation and the need to share methods for documenting the many aspects of human knowledge that language encodes. We aim to build on the strong momentum created by the 1st and 2nd ICLDCs to discuss research and revitalization approaches yielding rich records that can benefit both the field of language documentation and speech communities. We hope you will join us.

Follow ICLDC on Facebook or Twitter #ICLDC3.


Need help finding your way around campus? Check out our handy Campus Map. All on-campus conference venue and lodging sites are marked. Please note that the Imin Center is also known as Jefferson Hall. The map is best viewed in Adobe Reader or Acrobat.


NEW! Pre- and post-conference activities

Pre-conference talk (open to the public)

Cultural Diversity in the Temporal Arts: Challenges and Opportunities

Linda Barwick
University of Sydney

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 12:30-1:30 pm
UH Manoa Center for Korean Studies

The temporal arts (music, dance and the verbal arts) are found in all known human societies and arise from closely intertwined human capacities. Yet they present a dazzling array of diversity worldwide, a diversity that is ever-changing and that continues to develop as new generations of composers and performers emerge and come into contact with each other and with each other’s languages, ideas and modes of social organization. The temporal arts are especially prized by speakers of small and endangered languages, who often stress the importance of documenting and revitalizing their traditions of music, dance and poetry.

This presentation will look at some genres of song that have emerged in Australia and elsewhere in the last century, with particular attention to the multilayered and often oblique language used in songs. What challenges do songs present for musicologists, linguists and other researchers working with communities of speakers of small and endangered languages who wish to document and maintain their temporal arts? What can we learn about cultural diversity from such phenomena? Can we apply these lessons to our efforts to document and maintain cultural diversity in ways that make sense to the holders and inheritors of these traditions?

This event is made possible by the late Dr. Dai Ho Chun through his estate gift, which established the Dai Ho Chun Endowment for Distinguished Lecturers at the UH Manoa Colleges of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Chun was a distinguished and visionary educator. This lecture is also sponsored by the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (ICLDC), where Dr. Barwick will be a featured Master Class presenter on ethnomusicology.

Pre-conference Meeting on ISO 639 Language Code Standard (open to all interested parties):

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, UHM Linguistics Department Conference Room, 575 Moore Hall, 1890 East-West Road

Correct and unambiguous identification of languages, language families, language varieties and similar entities is becoming more and more important: the wealth of digital resources also in small and hitherto lesser known languages grows, and the importance of multilingual global communication increases every day.

However, the competent and already widely used standards of the International Standard Organization, ISO639, need an improved institutional, technical and procedural setting in order to cope with present and future requirements. ISO is prepared to change the settings, but someone who knows and cares about these issues has to come up with feasible proposals.

Therefore, we, the linguistic community, are given the opportunity to get (more) heavily involved if we want the codes, especially for varieties and families etc., but also for 'languages', to actually reflect reality as much as possible, and on the other hand remain pragmatic and usable.

Different initiatives worldwide such as the FROLIC project (proposed to DFG and NEH) are planning to contribute to an improved setting of the ISO standard. But this can only be successful if many specialists from all over the world participate. We invite therefore all linguists interested in improving the situation of language codes to join us in a pre-conference workshop meeting before the 3rd ICLDC in Honolulu. Please join us, learn about the plans, and discuss and enrich our proposals!

Pre-conference Film Screenings:

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27 6:30–8:30 pm St. John Auditorium, Room 11

For conference attendees who will be arriving early, please join us for the screening of two films by presenters at the ICLDC. Both directors will be on hand for discussion afterward. The screenings will be held in the St. John Auditorium on Maile Way near the corner of East-West Road on the UHM campus (across from Moore Hall). The auditorium is located below street level, so please walk down the stairs to find it.

Silvestre Pantaleón, produced and co-directed by Jonathan D. Amith, is a luminescent study of the last man of his village still versed in traditional rope making and other disappearing crafts. The protagonist lives in San Agustín Oapan, a Nahuatl speaking village in central Guerrero, Mexico. Looking for relief from pain and numbness, he visits a card reader and is told that to be cured offerings must be made to the dead, the hearth, the ants, and the river. The film delicately follows Silvestre as he makes rope to raise the money necessary for the ceremony Levantamiento de sombra ('lifting of the shadow'). Silvestre Pantaleón provides an intensely personal portrait of a man facing, in a unique setting, the universal process of aging.

M!a m gu tju, ‘we build a house’ is a short amateur documentary film by the San hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari and a Ph.D student Lee Pratchett. It aims to show the facility with which culturally-sensitive visual stimuli for language documentation can arise from cultural documentation, yielding richer and fuller results for the community and the researcher.

Recovering Voices program update and exhibition development: A working session

SUNDAY, MARCH 3rd 2:00–4:00 pm Center for Korean Studies

The Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices program aims to enhance public awareness of the crisis of language and knowledge loss. Through innovative research, documentation and revitalization efforts, partnerships with communities, an exhibition and a strong web presence, the project will leverage the Smithsonian’s unique collections and public outreach potential. A major National Museum of Natural History exhibition set for completion in 2015 will galvanize the museum’s 7 million annual visitors around the project’s central theme: Preventing global language loss is crucial to sustaining systems of Indigenous knowledge and cultural identity in communities around the world. In this working session, members from the Recovering Voices core team will provide an overview of current research directions, outline progress on the exhibition since our meeting at ICLDC in 2011 and solicit feedback for the exhibition. We invite linguists, cultural experts, and community scholars to help us strengthen our exhibition development plans, communicate key messages, and identify opportunities for partnerships. Join us! Come with your compelling stories from the field and creative ideas for powerful visitor experiences to help bring this vital story to life. Recovering Voices is a collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Post-conference talk (open to the public)

Landscape in Language: Cross-cultural Variation in Landscape Terms and Concepts

David M. Mark
University of Buffalo, SUNY

Monday, March 4, 2013, 12:30-1:30 pm
UH Manoa Center for Korean Studies

The landscape is important to all cultures. Depending on the definition of “landscape,” it may include the land upon which people walk, dwell, and obtain resources. (Of course, the ocean and other water bodies are very important in some cultures.) But the essence of landscape may be the larger forms and features of the environment, such as hills and valleys, lakes and rivers, forests and grasslands. Unlike the domains of organisms and artifacts, the landscape does not come with obvious categorical discontinuities that characterize “natural kinds.” This means that there is more latitude for different cultures to group landscape forms and features into categories differently. We have coined the term “Ethnophysiography” to refer to an ethnoscience that seeks to document categories and terms for landscape forms and features. Ethnophysiography also examines the role of landscape in culture and spirituality, and topophilia, the sense of attachment to landscape and place. The presentation will draw mainly on ethnographic case studies that the author has conducted with two peoples who dwell in semiarid or desert environments: the Yindjibarndi people of northwestern Australia and the Navajo (Diné) people of the American southwest. An understanding of differences in basic categories for landscape elements should contribute to the development of culturally-appropriate indigenous geographic information systems.

This event is made possible by the late Dr. Dai Ho Chun through his estate gift, which established the Dai Ho Chun Endowment for Distinguished Lecturers at the UH Manoa Colleges of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Chun was a distinguished and visionary educator. This lecture is also sponsored by the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (ICLDC), where Dr. Mark will be a featured Master Class presenter on ethnophysiogeography.


Map: Who's interested in the ICLDC.