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.
African sign languages are severely under researched. This project aims at documenting the Langue des Signes Malienne (LSM). In the absence of deaf education, LSM has emerged naturally. Once deaf schools were established, LSM was initially used for instruction, but replaced by American Sign Language in 2001. Having virtually no child users, LSM is seriously endangered. During three field trips, a team consisting of three native LSM signers and the applicant, will record a diverse sample of texts, transcribing them in a time-aligned annotation system. In addition, the project will generate a video vocabulary and a basic grammar CD of LSM.
Primary investigator: Victoria Nyst