Successful writing systems today depend on electronic input methods which can be easily used for producing printed or electronic material. This paper explores keyboard design issues involved in designing two keyboards for two different established orthographies. Both orthographies are based on Latin scripts and cover a total of five minority languages in Mexico (four languages in the Meꞌphaa genus and Sochiapam Chinantec [cso] ). The design issues consider:
Technical differences encountered across major computer operating systems (OS X and Windows)
Computer culture issues like the keyboard layout of the national language
Key stroke frequency of language specific segments
Unicode/non-Unicode issues related to character composition
Designing a Unicode keyboard for data input allowed native speakers of Meꞌphaa to have a greater involvement in the data collected by feeding the documentation team typed data and texts in addition to providing oral data. Early adaption of digital input methods may prove to better meet the needs of both language community and researcher. By giving the language community a keyboard for their orthography the minority language speakers were given the opportunity to enter into, and use, new technological domains with their language.
Hugh J. Paterson III (2014) Keyboard layouts: Lessons from the Meꞌphaa and Sochiapam Chinantec designs. In: Endangered Languages and New Technologies edited by Mari C. Jones. pp. 49-66. Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781107279063.006