Documenting Henan Oirat

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.

Henan Oirat (Henan Mongol) is the ethnic language of the Henan Oirats, a group of c. 30,000 individuals who inhabit Henan Mongol Autonomous County (Henan Mengguzu Zizhi Xian) of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Huangnan Zangzu Zizhi Zhou), Qinghai Province, China.This project aims at documenting the current state and last traces of the Mongolic language of the Henan Oirats. Formerly the number of speakers was estimated 50, but on the basis of our recent fieldwork (Mátyás Balogh, July 2012) there are appr. 300-600 speakers left (100 real fluent ones). Henan Oirat is a highly aberrant form of Oirat with considerable influence of Tibetan. There is no doubt that it will become extinct within 50 years or even sooner. Primary investigator: Agnes Birtalan

Project Details


Location: China, China, Mexico, China, Central America, Eastern Asia, Asia, Americas Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £5,264.00 Commencement Date: 01/2009
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