Documentation and description of Vamale, an endangered language of New Caledonia

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.

Vamale is among the smallest languages of New Caledonia, with around 100 speakers. It is almost undescribed. Most Vamale communities were displaced in the early 1900s from their mountains in the north and have since only had sporadic contact with their linguistic cousins, instead coexisting with other languages. This project aims for a cooperation with speakers to document the language and the culture, through annotated film and audio recordings. The data will be used for a sketch grammar, a dictionary, and pedagogical materials. The corpus will include naturally occurring speech, but also culturally relevant genres, such as tales and songs. Primary investigator: Jean Rohleder

Project Details


Location: New Caledonia, Melanesia, Oceania Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Universität Bern Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £28,448.00 Commencement Date: 01/2013 Project Status: Active
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