Report on the third meeting of the ACO*HUM working group on Computing for Non-European Languages

Naples, May 24-31, 1998

Present at the meeting:

The meeting was in cooperation with CAMEEL.


Jean de Dieu Karangwa presented the report prepared at CRIM-INALCO (by Jean de Dieu Karangwa and Jacques Souillot) for the CAMEEL project. An overall assessment of the feasibility of the creation of a European Masters was offered, and the strong and weak points of the designed structure were highlighted.

The conclusions of the report were accepted. A few bits of information were still expected from some of the participants. A final deadline was agreed upon (September 15). The report will be made available to all and will be accessible on the NEL pages of ACO*HUM.

Study guide and leaflet

The Study Guide prepared by Arvi Hurskainen was modified.

It was agreed that a letter be designed to all participating universities in order to seek their cooperation in establishing a European Master's Programme for CAMEEL.

The information leaflet on CAMEEL as designed by M. Toscano was reviewed and some changes were suggested. It was resolved that the leaflet should be ready as soon as possible.

It was agreed that the original character of CAMEEL as a pilot project with exclusive emphasis on African languages should be maintained until the testing and evaluation phase was completed. However, interested parties should be given observer status and have access to the CAMEEL website hosted by CILA.

Masters courses, ECTS and teaching material

The discussion was mainly on the overall structure of the course with an emphasis on streamlining the final year. The following picture has emerged:
  1. first degree or 90 ECTS (i.e. half of three years relevant study) devoted to core subjects including minimally those of level 1
  2. compensation for deficiencies, i.e. level 1, by attending courses at participating universities.
  3. 90 ECTS (1 1/2 years) of CAMEEL course proper
  4. Doctorate (future aim)
For the moment, CAMEEL is committed to the bold frame.

Level 1

Before entering the course the student must meet certain requirements which are specified in the study guide and the student should have at least some knowledge of African linguistics and of computer science. This basic knowledge is described under level 1. The description of this basic knowledge is in the form of modules divided over:

1a. Computer science knowledge, and

1b. African linguistic knowledge.

Each module is approximately 2.5 European credit points in the ECTS system or 70 hours working load. In essence, it is only the equivalence of these modules that counts. And it is up to each home university and the CAMEEL board to decide whether a student masters the equivalence of these modules. Thus it is up to each of us to check in their home universities which courses are offered that could be marked as constituting together the equivalence of level 1.

The presentation is in modules because CAMEEL is committed to provide study material for the modules in 1b, i.e.:

This study material will be available by October 1, 1998. The form will either be a detailed outline of approximately 20 pages with suggested reading material (adopted to local needs) or a textbook form of roughly 100 pages. The following individuals are responsible for timely completion of this material. Other commitments in this respect: Afrophone is a programme for computer aided articulatory phonetics training. It was developed by Thilo Schadeberg and Alex de Voogt at Leiden University on the basis of Ladefoged and Maddieson's archives for the Sounds of the World's Languages. It was translated into English by Alex de Voogt within the 1997/98 CAMEEL project.

The meeting had a look at this concrete result.

The CAMEEL course proper consists of 90 ECTS or roughly one-and-a-half years divided into several modules which are divided into two levels, level 2 and level 3.

Level 2

Level 2 consists of 4 modules. The idea is that two of these will be offered in an intensive course, namely: Course 12 would ideally be taught by a specialist outside our own circle. Arvi Hurskainen would be the ideal teacher of course 13.

Intensive courses need 2 weeks previous preparation on the part of the students plus 2 weeks course and maximally 2 courses in a row could be offered. The intensive courses need organisation by the hosting university, scholarships for students and a specialised teacher including the money to pay her or him.

The other modules of level 2 consist of:

These other modules will either be offered by the home university or the student will have to do such courses elsewhere.

Level 3

Level 3, i.e. the full year of CAMEEL studies, consists of three compulsory modules, 15, 16, 17, which are ideally offered by the home university, a three additional optional courses of 6 ECTS or 140 hours each, for which most students will have to travel, and a compulsory final project. The overview is as follows: Through the options, the student may choose for a line of interest such as Those interested in line A do modules: These could be offered by CRIM-INALCO in Paris. Plus: Those interested in line B do the following modules, which could be offered in Helsinki: and another option, for example, in the case of lexicography, Lines C and D cannot be offered yet. In order to be able to develop these lines and new modules in general in accordance with the fast-changing needs of the profession, one of the modules is kept open. For the speech engineering line, we could try to interest Hombert (Lyon) and Demolin (Brussels), and Roux (South Africa).

Additional points:

NEL activities and relations with CAMEEL

Agreement was reached between the CAMEEL Steering Committee and the representative of ACO*HUM J. Bell (Koenraad De Smedt was consulted by telephone) on the following points:

The WEB site

The NEL web pages are hosted and organised by ACO*HUM and will cross-link to CAMEEL. The main NEL page is

CAMEEL web pages, presently hosted by CILA, are divided into two sets:

Next meeting

The next joint NEL and CAMEEL meeting will be in Brussels, October 23-24, 1998.

Participants: CAMEEL Steering Committee and J. Bell

Provisional agenda:

WORKPLAN June - Dec. 1998

Phase 1 - Preparation of the "CAMEEL Dossier" - by beginning Oct. 1998

Phase 2 - Getting institution involvement - by the end of academic year 98/99

Phase 3 - Preparation of the teaching material Level 1 - early Oct. 98

Phase 4 - Official documents (forms, papers, certification, boards, etc.)

Scheduled meetings:

23-24 Oct. 1998: Meeting with J. Bell: Finalization of European Masters

Early 1999: Meeting for NEL activities

May 1999: Meeting for Level 2

Paris, October 15, 1998
Jean de Dieu KARANGWA and Jacques Souillot, CRIM-INALCO, edited by Koenraad de Smedt