Moses Ekpenyong, Nnamso Umoh, Mfon Udoinyang, Golden Ibiang &
Eno-Abasi Urua,
University of Uyo, Nigeria
Dafydd Gibbon, Universität Bielefeld, Germany

Infrastructure to Empowerment: An OSWA+GIS model for documenting local languages

The goal of this paper is to stimulate a broad-based discussion on a smooth transition from infrastructure to empowerment, create awareness and present strategies for preserving our unique heritage with an ICT tool that caters to the needs of the local people, has a local content and in local languages. The intended Open Source Web Archive (OSWA) and Geographical Information System (GIS) design is a hybrid tool that (i) archives important areas of rural lives and (ii) provides access to important information (for instance Health, Agriculture and rural development) vital to the communities, which has always received poor developmental handshake. We here motivate from the West African Language Archive (WALA) and the Local Language Speech Technology Initiative (LLSTI) experience, by presenting a practicable model with implementation that is affordable, comprehensive, efficient, fair, state-of-the-art and dependable and for selected local communities in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. The essence for this motivation are two-folds: (i) people must be able to express and communicate relevant data locally and in local languages if they are to shape decisions that affect their livelihoods and (ii) the power of local level connectivity with authorities, researchers, experts and our fellow communities integrates us into the global society.

Keywords: Language Documentation, Documentary Linguistics, OSWA, OLAC, GIS, LLSTI