Linguistic Advisory Board

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, is hosting DOBES, an international research project for the documentation of endangered languages funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. This project involves the creation of a digital archive including multimedia recordings showing the languages on their cultural context that will be accessible online to a range of users, including researchers and members of the indigenous communities where the languages are spoken.

On request from the archivist and with the full knowledge and encouragement from the Volkswagen Foundation an independent international Linguistic Advisory Board of researchers with a wide range of experience in language documentation has been established.

The Linguistic Advisory Board does not provide technical advice and is independent of any panel of experts established by the Volkswagen Foundation for project selection and/or evaluation.

This Linguistic Advisory Board will have the following terms of reference:

Terms of Reference

  1. to serve as a proactive advocate for the Volkswagen DOBES project, and assist with identifying and advising potential applicants, including:
    • presenting the Volkswagen program to scholars and communities
    • providing advice on developing proposals
    • providing advice to assist potential applicants with making contact with appropriate partner researchers in Germany
  2. to help to articulate professional and intellectual issues in the field of endangered language documentation
  3. to develop strategic plans for future relationships with users and endangered languages communities
  4. to serve as a resource to provide advice to the archivist, MPI Nijmegen as the host institution, and to the DOBES funded research teams on matters relating to the project, including linguistic issues, community and ethical issues, access and usage rights, potential conflicts, training needs, software tools, public documents and web materials.
  5. to establish and maintain contacts with other programs of endangered languages documentation and serve as a clearing house for information


Membership of the Linguistic Advisory Board is for a period of two years and can be extended; DOBES project team members whose funded research has been completed are eligible to be nominated. The Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen, appoints the Linguistic Advisory Board.

The Linguistic Advisory Board currently has the following members:

  • Prof Peter Austin, SOAS Institute (Chair)
  • Prof Balthasar Bickel, Leipzig University
  • Prof Gerrit Dimmendaal, Cologne University
  • Prof Colette Grinevald, Lyon University
  • Prof Ulrike Mosel, University Kiel
  • Prof Pieter Muysken, University Nijmegen
  • Dr Angela Terrill, University Nijmegen
  • Prof Anthony Woodbury, University of Texas

Contact details are:

DOBES Linguistic Advisory Board, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Postbus 310, NL 6500 AH Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Emails to the Linguistic Advisory Board can be directed to