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 project documents the culturally rich but highly endangered system of Bafut royal honorifics. We will collect audio and video data on the use of honorifics in ancestral songs, palace ceremonies or conversations among and between non-royal and royal speakers to document who knows and uses the system, how and in which contexts it is used, how it is inherited, and how it varies across age groups, genders and royal and non-royal classes and what it reveals about the way of thinking. We will work with adults in ceremonies and interviews but also involve children, for example through quiz competitions.
Primary investigator: Ayu'nwi Neba