The goal of the questionnaire is to assess how best to make language materials accessible to speakers of those languages or their descendants. The questionnaire was devised by Ilya Khait and Leonore Lukschy as part of the QUEST research project at Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Berlin, funded by the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung.
Although language archives hold vast amounts of recordings and texts in hundreds of minoritised languages, many of the speakers of these languages only have limited access to these materials. In 2019, Hilaria Cruz, who is a linguist and native speaker of Chatino, said in an interview on the ELAR Blog after browsing her own Chatino Collection:
“I think that these records have other uses besides just recording the language for linguistics’ sake. You’re providing for families to reconnect with memories of loved ones. It’s not just a recording – this is keeping memories of families”
In order to improve access to recordings of minoritised languages, QUEST is gathering data, both from community members, and outsider researchers. The questionnaire is being translated into several languages. New versions of the questionnaire will be added to this post once they are available.