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.
This project will produce vital records for the dying language Mmani, once widely spoken in the coastal Samou region of Guinea (Conakry) and Sierra Leone. Many other of the less widely spoken languages of the Atlantic Group (Niger-Congo) are under threat; the disappearance of Mmani is virtually certain. The few fluent speakers are all over fifty years old, and there are no monolingual Mmani speakers. Fieldwork began during July of 2000, when I and several colleagues from the Centre d'Ã‰tude des Langues GuinÃ©ennes (University of Conakry) spent a month in the field assessing the vitality of the language. This cooperation with CELG will continue and two younger scholars, one European and the other Guinean, will be trained in the field techniques of documenting a dying language.
Primary investigator: G. Tucker Childs