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.
Vogul (Mansi) language belongs to the Uralic family of languages. The Voguls used to have a dominant role in domesticating horses in the Uralic region in the first millennium BC and in fur hunting in the early middle ages. By today their traditional life has undergone repeated primitivisation, they speak Russian and Tartar. A small group of Vogul speakers live by the Upper-Lozva River near Ivdel.According to the last census in Russia in 2002 the gradually appearing data is alarming, the number of Voguls is 11,000 and the number of Vogul speakers is only 3,000. It is obviously an endangered situation: if we can not stop the loss of the mother-language, the Voguls, it will be a dead language within 10 to 20 years. The pilot project aims at investigating the degree and quantity of the knowledge of their native Vogul language and selecting the best native speakers for documenting the endangered remaining spoken Vogul.
Primary investigator: Gabor Szekely