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.
The classical song traditions of Western Arnhem Land are amongst the foremost examples of verbal art in the nine endangered languages of the region, but few people are now competent to perform or comment on them. Typically performed in multi-lingual social contexts, song texts demonstrate unusual linguistic features such as mixtures of languages and a high proportion of esoteric and intimate vocabulary. The project team will collect, transcribe, translate and analyse songs by contemporary performers, and where relevant repatriate and document archival recordings, making the research results available to communities via a network of local digital repositories.
Primary investigator: Linda Barwick