Digital Dictionary Development for Torwali, A Less-studied Language: Process and Challenges


  • Inam Ullah Torwali Research Forum



Torwali is an endangered and less-studied language spoken in the north of Pakistan. Recently, the community celebrated publication of the first ever Torwali dictionary both in print and an online version. This paper discusses issues and challenges regarding lexicography of a previously non-written language; from data collection by the native speakers having no set goals and training or institutional support, to organization and presentation of the data for producing multiple versions of the dictionary. The first section describes the process of developing the database using the methods of wordlists and semantic domains. The proceeding sections describe the technical development of its printed and online version in detail, and discuss orthographical, technical, computational and social concerns of the project. The paper concludes with recommendations for future dimensions of the present work and for similar projects with special consideration to lexicographical work on non-written languages.