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Language Documentation and the Treatment of Spoken Language
March 21-24, 2018, Zadar, Croatia
The Department of Linguistics at the University of Zadar hosts another event dedicated to some crucial topics in the domain of Language Studies. The 5th ZADAR LINGUISTIC FORUM: Language Documentation and the Treatment of Spoken Language consists of a conference and a spring school, which will be held from the 21st to the 24th March 2018. This four-day event will be focused on language documentation and on the elaboration of spoken language data with special emphasis on methodologies and tools used in this domain. 
Language endangerment is a well-known issue and the disappearance of many undocumented languages is a loss that many scholars of different domains have denounced. Less dramatic but nonetheless urgent is the need to consider spoken language as crucial in achieving better understanding of linguistic phenomena related to discourse and to the emergence of grammatical features. Language documentation and, more generally, the ability to gather, manage and analyse spoken language are two areas which display an increasing importance in applied linguistics and linguistics in general: they are at the core of this spring school and conference.
The conference will open the event on the 21st March. Doctoral students and young researchers are invited to submit abstracts for participating at the conference on subjects including, but not limited to the topics of language documentation and of spoken language research.
A 3-day training school will follow the conference from the 22nd to the 24th March. It will provide a unique opportunity for participants to get acquainted with some basic software used in language documentation and get some practical hands-on experience on how to collect, record, transcribe, and analyze spoken data. Experienced researchers working on language documentation and on the treatment of spoken language will be in charge of three courses that will guide the participants through the first steps in the use of several tools for the acquisition, treatment and management of spoken language data with a special attention to the issues connected to language documentation.
The event is thus aimed at doctoral students of linguistics and related disciplines (Croatian and Slavic Studies, English Studies, German Studies, Italian Studies, etc.), doctoral researchers who investigate different aspects of language and young researchers, but graduate students interested in language documentation are also encouraged to apply.


Vincenzo Galatà, Ph.D. (ISTC-CNR, Padua)
Best practices in language documentation: designing, building and managing your corpus of spoken data

Contrary to a common belief, building a corpus for spoken language documentation and research is a time-consuming and costly work that goes far beyond the “simple” collection of a certain number of recordings. Indeed, the construction of a corpus of spoken data opens up a myriad of options from which the researcher can choose, and there are many variables at play during the whole process of corpus design, collection, acoustic elaboration and management of the data. In this course we will address, and learn how to deal with, the different aspects of this process also with hands-on sessions involving the use of open-source software.

Eugenio Goria, Ph.D. (University of Bologna)
The use of ELAN in language documentation: transcribing and annotating spoken corpora

This course will provide an introduction to the basic functions of ELAN and is conceived as a set of practical tutorials. Particular attention will be given to the typical issues arising at the first experience with the study of spoken language materials. At the end of the course, the participants will be able to use ELAN to: make a transcript, create a multi-level set of annotations, build a small corpus and perform various types of corpus searches.

Assistant professor Zvjezdana Vrzić (University of Rijeka)
Introduction to FLEx - software for language documentation

The workshop will present the possibilities and the use of the Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEx), open-source software for creating dictionaries and interlinearizing texts. The participants will get to know how to make their own professional looking dictionaries, perform morphosyntactic text annotation and simply export lexical and text files into other software applications for language documentation and annotation.


The participation to the meeting can follow two modalities:
        conference + training school;
        only training school.
The attendance of the training school is limited to 30 participants while the slots available for oral presentations at the conference on the first day will be a total of 15. The papers will be selected on the basis of two criteria: 1) quality of the proposal, and 2) relevance for the topic of the conference. After the selection, the authors whose paper is ranked after the first 15 on the basis of the aforementioned criteria will be invited to participate at a poster session.
Papers are formal presentations of original research, lasting a total of 20 minutes (15 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion). Posters offer an opportunity for an individualized, more informal presentation and discussion of the research.
English and Croatian are official languages of the workshop. Authors should apply for presenting at the conference by submitting an abstract of their presentation. Abstract proposals (200 – 400 words) may be submitted either in English or in Croatian and English. Each presenter may submit only one abstract proposal, co-authored by one or more authors. Abstract proposals should be carefully checked and proofread. All accepted abstracts will be subsequently available in an electronic form.


Applicants for both the school and the conference should fill in the application form available at the Zadar Linguistic Forum website. The deadline for application and abstract submission is January 20, 2018. Authors will receive a notification of acceptance no later than January 31, 2018. Registration of participants will be open from February 1, 2018 until February 28, 2018.
A registration fee in the amount of 250 HRK (or 35 EUR) should be paid at the time of the registration and the payment receipt must be shown on the day of the conference. It will not be possible to pay the registration fee during the event itself. All information on the process of registration and payment will be available online. The fee includes training materials and coffee breaks.
Since during the training school computer tools will be used, the participants of the training school are kindly asked to bring their own laptop. Further information about the software to be installed will be provided later on.
All additional information about the 5th ZADAR LINGUISTIC FORUM: Language Documentation and the Treatment of Spoken Language, including the application form and contacts, may be found on the Zadar Linguistic Forum website:

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