Documentation of the Language and Musical Traditions of the Isimjeeg

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.

Isimjeeg is an undocumented language variety of the Southern Nilotic family, spoken in North-Central Tanzania. Fewer than 5,000 people continue to speak Isimjeeg and its future is threatened by the loss of traditional grazing land and increased use of Kiswahili and Iraqw. The goals of this project include the development of an annotated audiovisual corpus consisting of natural speech data and elicited linguistic forms, a collection of vocal musical performances and commentary, an Isimjeeg-Kiswahili-English dictionary, and a sketch grammar that covers a variety of linguistic aspects and incorporates socio-cultural information about speakers and communities involved in the project. Primary investigator: Richard Griscom

Project Details


Location: Tanzania, Eastern Africa, Africa Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): University of Oregon Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £26,210.00 Commencement Date: 01/2011
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