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 and describe Laitu, a Southern Chin language spoken by around 15000 people in Minbya, Mrauk-U and Myebon Townships of Myanmar. There has been a large impact of Buddhism and Christianity on the traditional social system of the Laitu Chin, resulting in abandonment of names, traditional clothing, rituals, and religion. On top of this, there is scant linguistic study and no publicly archived material on this language so far. The project focuses on audio and video recordings of narratives concerning nearly extinct religious rituals, the traditional ritual of facial tattooing, and other genres of texts with cultural significance.
Primary investigator: Muhammad Zakaria