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 application for a small grant from the ELDP involves a proposal for documentation of an endangered variety of Meithei, a Tibeto-Burman language of North East India. The language is a liturgical speech variety used by the Meibi (a religious title), who represent a minority among the Nupi Manbi (indigenous transgender) community in Manipur state, North East India. The Meibi are part of a specific offshoot of an ancient Manipuri religious tradition called Samahadi, which predates the colonial era. The language of the Meibi is unintelligible to the speaker of standard Meithei.
Primary investigator: Karen Parker