Labrador Language Preservation Project

The Labrador Languages Preservation Project comprises two simultaneous endeavours: turning the archived language documentation in the Labrador Languages Preservation Laboratory (IIC-2005A) into a searchable online database, and continuing and extending this documentation.

Creating a searchable online database of multimedia language materials will improve the ability of Indigenous communities and researchers to mobilize local knowledge in language research as they increase the capacity for investigating language diversity. It will significantly facilitate efforts to preserve these languages; extensive oral and written texts provide accurate materials for curriculum design, while preserving vital cultural knowledge. Most importantly, it will allow speakers in Labrador full access to archived data on their languages without leaving their communities.

Expanding documentation requires continued intensive field research. This effort will be led by a team composed of graduate students and members of Innu and Inuit communities. These field researchers will make use of portable field kits comprising audio recording equipment, specialized microphones and laptop computers to produce high-quality transcribed recordings of Labrador languages in use.

Further documentation will be accomplished by bringing speakers of Labrador languages to the laboratory at Memorial, where a state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio (now under construction) will be used to capture both linguistic and paralinguistic phenomena in order to provide informationally dense language records.

The digitizing and recording team and studio are housed in the Labrador Languages Preservation Laboratory (aka “The Labradory”), in the Inco Innovation Centre, IIC-2005A.