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 project is aimed at field documentation, creation of an electronic lexicon and interlinearized and annotated corpora of three poorly described and critically endangered Turkic languages native to South-Western Siberia in Russia: Bachat Teleut, Eushta-Chat (Tomsk Tatar), and Melets Chulym. The number of proficient native speakers of Teleut is under 250, of Eushta-Chat and Melets Chulym - fewer than 50 speakers each. Most of the speakers of the languages are over 50 years old. This is the last chance that these languages will likely have to be documented before the competent remaining speakers pass on or become impossible to work with due to advanced age. Among the objectives of the project is to perform a precise survey of the number of proficient and semi-speakers remaining, to assess the degree of language endangerment, the language's functional spheres and the sociolinguistic makeup of the communities, and to make preliminary analysis of the data with a view to developing pedagogical materials for the communities, in addition to descriptive, comparative, typological and areal studies.
Primary investigator: Andrey Filchenko