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News Release 14-098

Federal agencies provide new opportunities for dying languages

NSF and NEH award more than $4 million to preserve nearly 40 languages

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choir of women singing.

Totontepec women's choir performing bilingual songs in Spanish and Ayöök. Ayöök is being documented by a research team led by Daniel Suslak of Indiana University. It is one of more than 40 endangered languages being preserved by the NSF- and NEH-funded Documenting Endangered Languages program.

Credit: Daniel Suslak, Indiana University

 

Teacher at chalkboard in class with students sitting at desks.

Scott DeLancey showing speakers of Aimol, Anal, Chothe, Hmar, Kom, Lamkrang, Monsang, Maring (Saibu) and Tarao how their languages are similar to and different from one another at Liwachangning Village, Chandel District, Manipur, India.

Credit: Scott DeLancey, University of Oregon


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Men sitting at a table.

Linguists Jonathan Amith, Rey Castillo-Garcia and Christian DiCanio work with Yoloxóchitl Mixtec speakers on their language. The research will preserve one of more than 40 endangered languages as part of a new round of NSF and NEH endangered language awards.

Credit: Christian DiCano, Haskins Labratories


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Men being recorded.

Jonathan Amith of Gettysburg College and co-PI John Kress of the Smithsonian Institution are creating an extensive digital database of recordings of native experts discussing traditional nomenclature and classification of local flora in five Nuhuat and two Totonac villages in Mexico as part of the NSF- and NEH-funded Documenting Endangered Languages program.

Credit: Jonathan Amith, Gettysburg College


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This video contains three short segments of MalakMalak women speaking in their native endangered language. First, there is an excerpt from a narrative about a Blue-Tounge Lizard, then a short sequence about catching a shart, followed by a short narrative about the pigmy goose. The project is led by Lenore Grenoble of the University of Chicago and is part of the NSF- and NEH-funded Documenting Endangered Languages program. Researcher Dorothea Hoffmann is assisting the project.

Credit: Dorothea Hoffmann, Department of Linguistics, University of Chicago


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