5.0527 Conf: Computers in African Textology... (1/99)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 16 Dec 1991 21:24:42 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0527. Monday, 16 Dec 1991.

Date: Mon, 16 Dec 91 18:02:51 CET
Subject: Computers in African textology and linguistics



Polish Association of African Studies, jointly with the
Department of African Languages and Cultures, Warsaw Universi-
ty intends to organise in June 1992 an international workshop
"Computers in African Textology and Linguistics - Summer
International School" - hence CATALYSIS 92. Its general aim is
to catalyze research and West-East-South cooperation of
researchers working in various fields of human sciences rela-
ted to Africa - by popularizing the use of computer aided
research methods and computerized communication networks. In
particular, the tasks for CATALYSIS 92 are:

i) training of academic staff, graduate and postgraduate
students (primarily but not exclusively from Poland and from
other Central/East European countries) in using computer aided
research methods in the study and/or in the processing of
African texts (literature, oral tradition, history etc.) as
well as in the study of African languages; demonstration of
different types of software and of its concrete applications

ii) collecting/acquiring relevant software and written
documentation; elaboration of an inventory of the most
interesting software products and of current projects which
illustrate its application

iii) elaboration of teaching materials for future CATALYSIS
iv) setting up joint research projects and/or coordination of
existing ones of similar nature.

CATALYSIS 92 sessions will cover a wide range of applications
for computer sciences which can be carried out on IBM PC
and/or Apple McIntosh machines and compatibles, such as (exam-

- font designing (concrete illustrations of software for
phonetic, Arabic, Ethiopian, Egyptian, etc. scripts),
- lexicography (O:oebox)
- lexicostatistics ( WordNXrv, LexiNtat)
- text analysis (TA)
- morphological (AINI for Swahili), and syntactic parsing
- language data banks (e.g. ite deN Lan7XeN dX Monde project)
- linguistic cartography
- text concordances & interlinear text glossing (O:oebox)
- kinship systems charts, familly genealogies, prosopography,

Demonstrations of software products related to computer aided
language teaching (including literacy work) may also be inclu-

The content, time distribution and duration of CATALYSIS 1992,
as well as the number of moderators and trainees to be envol-
ved in this workshop (up to 25 people) will depend on the
support in staff, finance, soft- and hardware which the orga-
nizers expect to get from national and foreign institutions.
Preliminary plan foresees two variants:

A - intensive workshop, programme condensed in 40-48 hours (5-
6 days, 8 hours per day) mainly devoted to software demonstra-
tion and discussion, with practical learning much reduced

B - regular course, 60 hours (i.e. 6 hours x 10 working days)
in the span of 12-14 days.
In both cases the workshop/course will take place in the
second half of June 92 and the venue will be the Warsaw Uni-

Costs of travel, accommodation, food, will not be covered by
the organizers and there will be conference fees (amount to be
determined). The organizers will approach various institutions
for subventions which would enable reducing the costs for
invited contributors and, possibly, for other participants.

At this preliminary stage and by this announcement, we intend
to test the interest for such an idea among potential partici-
pants and potential sponsors, define the approximative number
of participants (contributors and trainees), register their
names and addresses, apply for funds, gather your suggestions
concerning the programme.
We will keep you informed about the progress in preparation of
the workshop.

dr Eugeniusz Rzewuski (linguistics) <RZEWUSKI@PLEARN.BITNET>
dr Janusz Krzywicki (other human sc.) <JKRZYWIC@PLEARN.BITNET>
Warsaw University
Institute of Oriental Studies
Department of African Languages and Cultures
00-927 Warszawa 64, Poland
phone: (48-22) 263683; home: (48-22) 177812
fax: (48-22) 267520
telex: 815439 uw pl