Placing the Dead and Nurturing the Living: Documentation of house- construction and terrace farming in Zargulla, an endangered Omotic language

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.

Zargulla (zay) is an endangered Omotic language spoken by c.a. 8000 speakers in south-west Ethiopia (62.60N 37.19E). Several Zargulla villages are characterized by terrace-farming and clusters of houses commemorating the dead in the higher parts of valleys, and residential areas in foothills and plateaus. The project will produce a linguistic and ethnographic documentation of this parallel and interactive spatial complex of farming and dwelling, which is endangered by socio-cultural changes. Its primary goal is to produce a multi-media digital corpus and a thematic dictionary on house-construction and terrace-farming, and, using these outputs, to study the grammar of space in Zargulla. Primary investigator: Azeb Amha

Project Details


Location: Ethiopia, Eastern Africa, Africa Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): African Studies Centre Leiden Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £152,855.00 Commencement Date: 01/2012 Project Status: Active
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