Developing Linguistic Technologies and Digital Resources for Kichwa, the Minoritized Endangered Indigenous Language of Ecuador

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

My project aims to address the problem of language endangerment of the Kichwa language, an indigenous language of Ecuador, with the interdisciplinary methods of natural language processing and descriptive linguistics. Language deaths are happening at an alarming speed worldwide, and we do not have enough linguists and activists to cover all of the languages with the conventional manual approaches to document languages. I propose that automating and digitizing the language documentation process with artificial intelligence will enable us to document languages faster in a community-oriented way. Specifically, I plan to develop speech recognition tools for Kichwa, create a corpus of Kichwa, and prepare educational materials of Kichwa, such as a frequency-based dictionary and a reference grammar.