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 Sherbro language, spoken on Sherbro Island and nearby coastal areas of Sierra Leone, is in rapid decline. Its speakers now number some 20,000 with its domains and functions decreasing. Sherbro speakers increasingly prefer the more widely spoken languages Mende, Krio, and Temne. In a few places, however, the language is used in daily interactions. One is within the Dema Chiefdom on the westernmost edge of the island. It is here the project will locate itself to fully document the language in grounded contexts and partner with the local community and university to produce materials valuable to these and scholarly communities.
Primary investigator: G. Tucker Childs