Documenting MalakMalak, an endangered languuage of Northern Australia

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.

MalakMalak is a northern Daly language spoken in the Daly River area in north-western Australia. Today it has an estimated eight remaining speakers. This project aims to complement existing sketch grammars with audio-visual recordings with a focus on documenting traditional stories and culturally significant processes such as hunting and gathering or tool-making and by compiling a 2,000-word dictionary. In addition to a Learners' Grammar, aspects of MalakMalak slated for a more detailed discussion in future journal articles are its distinctive complex predicate structure, noun classification system, and spatial Frames of Reference, from both a typological and a comparative Australianist perspective. Primary investigator: Dorothea Hoffmann

Project Details


Location: Australia, Australia and New Zealand, Oceania Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): University of Chicago Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £86,880.00 Commencement Date: 01/2008
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