Documenting the Krim and Bom languages of Sierra Leone

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.

The DKB will document two dying languages spoken in the coastal tidelands of south-eastern Sierra Leone. Only a few score speakers use Kim while even fewer know Bom; all are bilingual in Mende. The languages survive due to the remaining speakers' isolation in tiny fishing villages along a remote tidal estuary. Documentation of the language and culture will be achieved by means of multiple media, performed collaboratively with Kim and Bom people themselves. In addition, Western graduate students, as well as students and lecturers from the national university will be trained and will actively participate in the project. All materials will be digitised and archived locally and internationally. These products will form virtually the only documentation of the people and their language and could also provide the basis for any revitalisation efforts. Primary investigator: G. Tucker Childs

Project Details


Location: Sierra Leone Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Portland State University Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £107,057.00 Commencement Date: 01/2003
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