ICLDC 7 logo: Recognizing Relationships

Recognizing Relationships

The 7th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (ICLDC)

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

March 4-7, 2021 

The 7th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (ICLDC), Recognizing Relationships, was held March 4th-7th virtually, facilitated by faculty, students, and volunteers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The 7th ICLDC was hosted by the Department of Linguistics and was generously supported with funding from the National Science Foundation.

The conference featured two Keynote talksWorkshops and Talk Story Sessions, papers with live Q&A sessions, and poster sessions on Discord. The Hilo Field Study, a virtual visit to learn from Hawaiian language revitalization programs in action, took place during the conference.

ComputEL 4 was held immediately prior to ICLDC 7.

Conference Theme: Recognizing Relationships

There are many critical challenges that endangered language documentation and conservation faces, some of which seem insurmountable, and despite linguists’ best efforts, many of the proposed solutions fall short. These challenges have been apparent to many communities, language activists and academic linguists since (or even before) the earliest public warnings of the “endangered language crisis” in the early 1990’s, and recognition of the great number of large-scale challenges has only become more apparent since. 

One reason that many of the current solutions have not reached the level of success to which they have aspired is that the need to identify and/or foster relationships is often minimized or even ignored completely. Identifying and fostering relationships by taking the time to build understanding between stakeholders, learning about needs and skills that can be offered, and developing shared goals and outcomes are central to sustainable solutions for language documentation and conservation. These relationships go beyond those between communities and linguists and extend to multi-party relationships among linguists, communities, other academic fields, governmental and non-governmental organizations, educational and funding agencies, and many other individuals invested in the future of the language. There are also important intra-group relationships within these stakeholding groups (e.g., between members of an Indigenous community, or language workers documenting signed languages and those documenting spoken languages) as well as inter-group relationships between different Indigenous communities. 

At ICLDC 2021 we propose to initiate a dialogue on how recognizing relationships can help overcome the many critical challenges in language documentation and language reclamation. We believe that this focus will lead to improved connections among academic linguists, various communities, researchers from other disciplines, educational practitioners, and many other stakeholders. We specifically aim to draw attention to the transformative power of recognizing relationships to overcome critical challenges.


Frequently Asked Questions (scheduling, presentation types, etc)

Want to commemorate your participation in the conference? Check out the new ICLDC 7 merchandise in our Redbubble store! This year we have two designs for our conference. Visit the store webpage and click on the “Shop all products” link underneath the design of your choice.


If you need assistance regarding the conference, please email icldc@hawaii.edu.


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NSF logo

Support for the 2021 ICLDC is provided in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.