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.
This project will record, translate and document material in Ritual Sone-Tu, a ritual form of Sone-Tu, known only by three spirit mediums now in their 70s or 80s. Sone-Tu is a Southern Chin (Tibeto-Burman) language spoken by about 28,000 people in Rakhine (Arakan) State, Myanmar. During pre-colonial times, Ritual Sone-Tu was understood by the wider community and used in rituals and festivals. The arrival of Christian missionaries during colonial times caused widespread decline in ritual practices. The encroachment of the Rakhaing and Burmese languages on the Sone-Tu lexicon have meant that Ritual Sone-Tu is now completely untelligible to Sone-Tu speakers. Ritual Sone-Tu will disappear with the three surviving spirit mediums.
Primary investigator: Justin Watkins