User:Rorlija1/Language selection

From LING073
Jump to: navigation, search

Rowan Orlijan-Rhyne's Language Selection Lab

Computational Linguistics Spring 2023

I'd like to work with Athena Basu on the language resources. I think I/we'd also be open to working with a third person who has a linguistics background!

The following listed in order are my preferences for language selection.


  • Morphological typology: agglutinative, I believe

In a "handy phrase guide" from the internet, it is clear that what I believe are commonly occurring verbs (dam, dem, dim) are modified by suffixes such as -al and -aa and prefixes such as n-.[1]

  • Number of speakers: 5-10 million [2]
  • Where is it spoken?

In West Africa, Wolof is becoming a lingua franca. Speakers are predominantly Senegalese, but small populations of speakers can also be found Mauritania and Gambia. (In Gambia, Gambian Wolof is spoken.) [2]

  • What other languages might its speakers know?

French is probably the most common alternate language known by Wolof speakers, because French and Wolof are the official languages of Senegal. However, in Mauritania, Arabic is the official language, and thus it is reasonable to assume that most speakers of Wolof in Mauritania also speak Arabic. Similarly, the official language in Gambia is English. Speakers of Wolof who use it as a lingua franca might be L1 speakers of more localized West African languages.

  • Transmission to current and future generations?

Young generations are part of a movement shifting Wolof to an "Urban Wolof" dialect. This, combined with its growing status as a lingua franca, is evidence of strong transmission of the language to future generations.[2]

  • Is there normative orthography? What is it like?

The primary orthography uses Latin characters, but there is also an older orthography using Arabic lettering which is less common today.[2]

  • ISO Codes: Senegalese - wol; Gambian - wof

(The two are mutually intelligible but still different in some ways.) [3]

  • Resources?

I think it's quite likely that we would be able to find sufficient resources. This afternoon, I was able to find a translation of the New Testament in Wolof as well as some English-Wolof phrase guides. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also has Wolof translations.[4]


  • Morphological typology:

I believe it is an agglutinative language because, looking at the conjugations of verbs on the Rohingya language wikipedia page, it seems that the morphemes are very easily distinguishable building blocks that are added and removed to conjugate verbs.[5]

  • Number of speakers:

Ethnologue estimates 2.5 million globally and about 500,000 in Myanmar, yet a large degree of uncertainty is highlighted by Ethnologue. [6]

  • Where is it spoken?

It is spoken by a Rohingya refugee diaspora across large swaths of South Asia, but it originates in Myanmar.[6]

  • What other languages might its speakers know?

Rohingya refugees probably learn the language of the region in which they are living. Rohingya peoples speak Burmese and Urdu, notably.[7]

  • Transmission to current and future generations?

Because of the persecution of Rohingya peoples, the language is in decline.[8]

  • Is there normative orthography? What is it like?

Currently, an orthography known as Rohingyalish is the most widely used, and it uses Latin script.[9]

  • ISO Code


  • Resources

In addition to simply looking on the wikipedia page, it would be easy to find a body of text in the Rohingya language. A site dedicated to learning Rohingya[10] and this video[11] of someone speaking Rohingya are good places to start.


  • Morphological typology: Synthetic[12]
  • Number of speakers: c. 3 million [13]
  • Where is it spoken?

Of course, Balinese is spoken in Bali. There are also speakers in other nearby Indonesian provinces.[13]

  • What other languages might its speakers know?

Probably Indonesian, given that Bali is an Indonesian province. Some Balinese might also speak English.

  • Transmission to current and future generations?

Balinese language television and instruction is limited in Bali, so the language is in decline. However, there are some efforts being made to preserve it.[14]

  • Is there normative orthography? What is it like?

There is a Balinese script, but a Latin orthography has also been developed.[13]

  • ISO Code


  • Resources

I think it would be manageable to find resources including a body of text and a video in Balinese. There is a dictionary/wiki page I found with minimal effort that could be very useful. [15]


  1. Handy Phrase Guide: English To Wolof (Senegal)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ethnologue
  3. Travel Encyclopedia for Languages
  4. Wikipedia
  5. Rohingya Wikipedia
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ethnologue
  7. Fact Sheet
  8. Article about crisis facing language
  9. Rohingya Post
  10. Site
  11. video
  12. Article on Researchgate
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Ethnologue
  14. Association for Progressive Communications
  15. Basa Bali Dictionary