The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) is organising the 3rd RAIL workshop in the field of Resources for African Indigenous Languages. This workshop aims to bring together researchers who are interested in showcasing their research and thereby boosting the field of African indigenous languages. This provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art and emphasizes availability of African indigenous language resources, including both data and tools. Additionally, it will allow for information sharing among researchers interested in African indigenous languages and also start discussions on improving the quality and availability of the resources. Many African indigenous languages currently have no or very limited resources available and, additionally, they are often structurally quite different from more well-resourced languages, requiring the development and use of specialized techniques. By bringing together researchers from different fields (e.g., (computational) linguistics, sociolinguistics, language technology) to discuss the development of language resources for African indigenous languages, we hope to boost research in this field.
The RAIL workshop is an interdisciplinary platform for researchers working on resources (data collections, tools, etc.) specifically targeted towards African indigenous languages. It aims to create the conditions for the emergence of a scientific community of practice that focuses on data, as well as tools, specifically designed for or applied to indigenous languages found in Africa.
Suggested topics include the following:
Digital representations of linguistic structures
Descriptions of corpora or other data sets of African indigenous languages
Building resources for (under resourced) African indigenous languages
Developing and using African indigenous languages in the digital age
Effectiveness of digital technologies for the development of African indigenous languages
Revealing unknown or unpublished existing resources for African indigenous languages
Developing desired resources for African indigenous languages
Improving quality, availability and accessibility of African indigenous language resources