Web-based Dictionaries for Languages of the South-west USA

Sonya Bird, Michael Hammond, Maria Amarillas, Melody Jeffcoat, Heidi Harley, Mizuki Miyashita, Laura Moll, Mary Ann Willie, Ofelia Zepeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper outlines a project currently under way in the Linguistics Department at the University of Arizona to create electronic dictionaries of indigenous languages of the south-west USA and make them available over the Web for language instruction as well as for linguistic, psycholinguistic, and anthropological research. Working with three languages—Tohono O’odham, Navajo, and Hiaki—we have created an XML scheme that serves as a general template for structuring and archiving language databases. We describe the process of compiling databases for different languages and converting these databases to XML, which contains all the relevant information in a manner that is easily accessible. We discuss the general programming scheme used for searching, and the interfaces used for presenting the dictionary on the Web, which include several front ends for different user groups. We end with a discussion of how to ensure that special characters are displayed properly on the Web.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-438
Number of pages12
JournalLiterary and Linguistic Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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