The Wooi project includes a strong capacity and institution building component. Thus, within the scope of this project the Center for Endangered Languages Documentation CELD has been founded at the Universitas Negeri Papua UNIPA in Manokwari, West Papua in 2009. Its aim is to establish documentation structures both at a regional and a local level. From a scientific point of view, having those structures in an area with more than 240 speech communities seems promising.
Yusuf Sawaki, the director of the CELD, has been training students in language documentation and description at UNIPA for a number of years; Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, a German professor for linguistics, has conducted training workshops with Indonesian highpotentials in various locations since 2005. Alexander Loch, a former member of the team, managed developmental capacity building programs since 1998, including a research centre for cultural appropriate teaching materials in neighboring East Timor. Joining their experiences and visions, they created the Center for Endangered language Documentation.
After the first experiences with documenting Wooi language, more projects were started at the CELD, focusing on the non-Austronesian language Iha and Yali. Since 2011, international researchers are associated with the CELD.
Apart from working on language documentation and training local linguists, the center organizes culturally important programs with members of the local community and offers support to cultural activists.
Center for Endangered Languages Documentation (CELD)
State University of Papua