The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.
This project will document two related languages of the Jinghpaw group within Tibeto-Burman: Turung, with perhaps 1000 speakers and Singpho, with perhaps 2500 speakers. Both languages are under threat from increasing use of Assamese. Particular emphasis will be given to recording the most endangered genres: traditional songs, and traditional religious rituals and prayers. This project will lead to a thorough grammatical description of Singpho and Turung, carefully comparing the two languages and detailing the influences on them from languages with which they are in contact, particularly Tai and Assamese. This linguistic description will be presented with a CD containing links to sound files and transcriptions of the texts underlying that description. The project also involves the development of written standards for the languages, and the preparation of Turung and Singpho texts that will be accessible by the community. Readers wishing to consult and search Stephen Morey's Turung text transcriptions on the web, should go to http://crcl.th.net/assam/
Primary investigator: Stephen Morey