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.
Our purpose is to create a dictionary of Archi, a highly endangered language spoken in one village of a remote mountain region in Daghestan. Archi is remarkable both for linguistic reasons, and in terms of its cultural setting. Its morphological system strains credibility by the size of its paradigms (Kibrik calculates that a verb can have 1,502,839 forms), and the stems tend to pattern irregularly. Speakers of Archi are almost exclusively first-language speakers, and intermarriage is rare. The culture of the Archi is one of the most distinctive and best-preserved cultures of Daghestan. There is still time to record some of its unique artefacts. Archi was studied in the 1970s and a fine grammatical description was produced (written by Kibrik, Kodzasov, Samedov and collaborators), but there is very little available on lexical material. We plan to produce dictionaries with pictures and soundfiles to meet the needs of speakers and the interests of linguists.
Primary investigator: Greville Corbett