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.
Nyenkha is a nearly extinct East Bodish dialect spoken at Phobjikha (<300 people) and Wangduephodrang (<3000), Western Bhutan by an illiterate minority without national participation. Elderly people speak and understand well; middle-aged have limited competence, children neither speak nor understand Nyenkha due to its lack of value in marketplace and official settings. Documentation includes linguistic and ethno-cultural database, audio/video/photographic records of conversation, interviews, oral literature/folk genres, leading to grammatical sketches and an initial dictionary fragment. Generated archival data will facilitate future maintenance and revitalization efforts, and provide evidence for understanding local language and identity in both historical and structural dimensions.
Primary investigator: Wangchuk Rinzin