The Endangered Alphabets Project is fortunate enough to have developed a stellar research team of volunteers from all over the world, who in spite of all kinds of challenges (the COVID pandemic being only one) are unearthing new information, and even new writing systems, every week. Some of these worthies also consult on other aspects of our global operation (he said, tongue in cheek) such as game design, web functionality and database management.
They are, in alphabetical order:
Anson Ching is a Vancouver-based writer and creative cartographer who works in the realm of urban planning and resource and land-use management for various First Nations in Canada. His interests in linguistics and scripts comes from his fascination with our world as seen through the lens of regional geography. He works for a future where people have more agency and a fuller understanding of what they stand to lose and gain when it comes to what they choose to speak and write.
Jovan Ellis is a writer and multimedia designer based out of Philadelphia, PA. With a career in educational access, game development, and technology, Jovan loves creating meaningful user experiences and exploring new ways to improve people’s lives. Jovan currently works as the Digital Content Manager at the non-profit marketing company, Visit Philadelphia.
Ethan Hartzell is currently pursuing a PhD in linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. He is passionate about the documentation and preservation of the world’s linguistic diversity. His research focuses on spoken and signed languages of North Africa. He is also interested in the creation of digital resources to promote the learning of minority languages and scripts.
Ewen holds a BA in Linguistics and German Studies, and specializes in endangered language documentation and revitalization. His research interests are mainly centered around phonetics and phonology, and his ultimate goal is to work on under-documented Tibeto-Burman languages of the Himalayas and its surrounding regions. For the Endangered Alphabets Project, he will predominantly be handling the scripts of South Asia.
Miranda is a lifelong language learner, a true-bred Missourian, and a shameless promoter of all things Faroese. After studying and working in Journalism, she now teaches World Languages on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. She loves to spend her summer breaks traveling abroad, meeting new people, tasting new foods and collecting memories and adventures. This year, while the world stands still, she is excited to help catalogue, celebrate and promote special scripts with the Atlas of Endangered Alphabets.
Harris Mowbray is a linguist and programmer residing in Washington DC. He works with midwestern Native American tribal governments in order to use technology to revitalize endangered languages. In his free time, Harris develops Braille codes for languages around the world to allow blind people to read and write every language.
Evan is a recent graduate of New College of Florida, where she majored in Anthropology and Art History. She is interested in archival and museum collections, and especially the process by which the past is created and preserved in the present through tangible and intangible heritage. She is extremely excited to become involved in this project and looks forward to the opportunity to work with the Endangered Alphabets team to further its aim to keep languages alive and accessible.
Ishita studies mathematics and linguistics, and loves to learn. She is passionate about food, language and culture, and is always looking to find out more. She loves to read and enjoys solving math problems, and will be delighted if you ask for help with math homework. When she’s not reading or doing math, you will find her (a) cooking, (b) binging Netflix or (c) curled up by the window with her dog in her lap and a cold coffee in her hand, looking at vintage fashion from around the world.
Earvin Christian Pelagio is a graduate student of Linguistics in the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is a Philippine linguist currently affiliated with Commission on the Filipino Language, the Philippines’ language agency. While his work focuses mainly on creating Latin script-based orthographies, he also wants to learn more about indigenous scripts and their importance in the empowerment and recognition of indigenous/minoritized communities of the Philippines. Besides scripts, his research interests are multilingualism, language documentation, language policies and support, and languages in the Philippines in general (both signed and spoken).
Walter T. Sano
Walter is a Brazilian linguist who specialises in writing systems—both his Master’s Thesis and PhD Dissertation were devoted to developing a romanization (transcription, transliteration) system from the Arabic abjad to the Latin alphabet. His first contact with a non-Latin script was during his childhood, when he started learning Japanese and realised letters such as A, B, and C weren’t everything there was to written communication. He hasn’t stopped since and up until now has, to a greater or lesser extent, expanded his knowledge of writing systems to encompass alphabets, abjads, syllabaries and even music notation ♪
Born almost fifty years ago, grew up in Poland and Soviet Union. Lecturer in Chinese and Linguistics at Warsaw University. Studied both in China and Poland. Majored in Anthropology and Sinology. Currently mostly a language teacher, yet working on writing systems and their interaction with speech from semiotic, cognitive, linguistic and visual art perspective in Sign and Symbol research group. Amateur calligrapher, stage performer, poetry lover and SF aficionado.
Seph Valoren (he/any) is a professional educator, researcher, and therapist currently residing with his spouse in Delaware. His interest in the Endangered Alphabets Projects stems from his lifelong fascination with the diversity of human culture and systems of writing, symbols, stories, and law, and how they serve as vectors of cultural transmission. As both an academic and a mental health clinician, his focus is primarily on social outliers, ‘deviants’, and the strange mechanisms of tribalism that decide who is in- and out-grouped, and why. In his limited free time, he enjoys spending time in nature, yoga, fiction writing, and cooking.