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.
Toratán (Ratahan) is spoken by the older generation in a handful of villages located in southern Minahasa, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is an isolated member of the Sangiric language family, surrounded by Minahasan languages. Like other languages of the region it is giving way to Manado Malay and the national language Bahasa Indonesia. Its decline is more advanced than most regional languages, with no more than a few hundred fluent speakers, all of advanced age. A southern dialect, Bentenan, spoken on and adjacent to the offshore island of the same name, appears to have disappeared already.This project aims to document the language while it is still possible, and also to work with the language community on maintenance strategies, for which there is significant local interest.
Primary investigator: Anthony Jukes