DOBES Archive

Ėven is a Northern Tungusic language spoken over a vast area of northeastern Siberia, from the Lena-Jana watershed in the west to the coast of the Oxotsk Sea, Chukotka, and Kamchatka in the east. Traditionally, Ėvens are nomadic hunters and reindeer pastoralists. Reindeer, both domesticated and wild, play an important role in their culture and ethnic self-identification. Reindeer herding, however, has become highly endangered throughout the Russian North, which has had extremely negative effects on the Ėvens' self-perception and social relations. Therefore the project will not only seek to document the language, but also the state of reindeer herding among the Ėvens in different...
The People of the Center are a multilingual group living in the North West Amazon, in the border region between Southern Colombia and Northern Peru. Seven mutually unintelligible languages belong to the People of the Center: Andoke, Bora, Huitoto, Muinane, Nonuya, Ocaina, and Resígaro. The People of the Center are characterized by some unique cultural practices, including elaborate ritual discourses, festivals at which repertoires of thousands of songs are performed, as well as systems of drum communication that build on the structures of the individual languages. The traditional cultural practices as well as the use of the languages on a daily basis are nowadays rapidly declining in a...
The project documents the language of the religious minority of the Ahl-i Haqq, also known as Yaresan. The Yaresan inhabit scattered settlements mostly in West Iran (Kermanshah province) and North Iraq. Although the Yaresan speak various languages today, their religious texts are written in a variety of Gorani, and the villages we have been documenting in Iran and Iraq still use this language in their everyday life. Data were collected in Iran between 2007 and 2010, and in Iraq in 2011. The documentation includes: 1) Digital recordings of traditional texts, oral history, descriptions of local religious and cultural practices 2) Two books with sketch grammars, text collections and lexica,...
The overall goal of the project is the documentation and preservation of the Hoocąk language. The project therefore includes the following sub-projects: (1) (audio- and video-)recording, analysing, processing and archiving a representative corpus of Hoocąk texts, (2) linguistic analysis and representation of texts that have previously been recorded by other linguists or anthropologists, (3) development of a comprehensive and linguistically consistent lexicon, (4) training of Hoocąk language instructors, (5) development of teaching material (6) further analyses (e.g. investigation of dialectal differences among Wisconsin and Nebraska Hoocąks)
This data collection forms part of a DOBES-funded project investigating the interplay of gestures and prosodic events in two lesser-studied languages with very different prosody: Iwaidja, a stress-accent language spoken by around 130 speakers in northwestern Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia, and Ikaan, a tone language spoken by about 5,000 speakers in Ondo State and Edo State, Nigeria. Iwaidja speakers are bilingual with English as their dominant language - and in many cases a command of further indigenous languages. Ikaan speakers are multilingual, speaking Ikaan, Yoruba, further indigenous languages and English and Pidgin English to varying degrees. The project will compare the...
This project documents, in as full a cultural context as is possible, the Iwaidja language of the Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory, Australia (Iwaidjan language family, non-Pama-Nyungan), still spoken by around 200 people but under increasing threat from English, as well as recording material from other languages of the region (Marrgu, Ilgar/ Garig, Amurdak and Manangkari) which are all reduced to one or two speakers each. In addition to linguists, the research team will include specialists in ethnomusicology, material culture / archaeology, and social anthropology, and will result in a comprehensive, searchable and browsable sound and video documentation, with Iwaidja transcriptions...
The aim of the project is to document the linguistic and cultural knowledge of the remaining few hundred speakers of several language varieties belonging to two language groups in the Victoria River District in Northern Australia. These varieties are Jaminjung, Ngaliwurru and Nungali (members of the Jaminjungan family, one of the Non-Pama-Nyungan language groups) and Gurindji, Ngarinyman, and Bilinarra (belonging to the Ngumpin subgroup of the Pama-Nyungan language family). These varieties (and in addition English, Kriol, an English-lexified creole, and Gurindji Kriol), constitute part of a single network of multilingual communicative practices in the region, since the speakers of these...
The Khinalug language is only spoken in Khinalug village in Northern Azerbaijan. Khinalug belongs to the North-East Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian) language family. There are approximately 2,000 speakers who are mostly bilingual with the national language of Azerbaijan (Azeri). The project is supervized by Jost Gippert and Wolfgang Schulze. The fieldwork is conducted by Monika Rind-Pawlowski and Tamrika Khvtisiashvili. The target of the project is a comprehensive documentation of the language and its use, including a vast collection of texts through video and audio recordings, the investigation of socio-linguistic issues and cultural characteristics of the speakers, efforts in language...
The project: The aim of the project is to provide comprehensive linguistic and ethnographic documentation of the endangered Saami languages of Russia, which are spoken in the northwestern-most region of Russia (Murmansk Region – Murmanskaja oblast') on the Kola Peninsula. The Kola Saami languages Skolt, Kildin, Ter and Akkala belong to the group of eastern Saami languages. Saami itself is a branch of the Uralic language family. Today only a minor part of the approximately 1800 Kola Saami speak and understand their mother tongue fluently. Most of them are elder speakers. The middle generation has either a very limited knowledge of Saami, or does not know the language at all. There is...
Documentation, description and analysis of the Kuikuro language (Carib). Phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax. Comparison with the other Upper Xingu Carib variants (Kalapalo, Nahukwa, Matipu). Comparison with other Carib languages: the place of the Upper Xingu Carib inside the Carib family, as member of the southern branch. Descrição e análise de línguas indígenas brasileiras. Gramática Kuikuro; Etnografia da Oralidade
The project documents the language and culture of a few Kurumba groups living in the Nilgiri hills and adjacent forest areas in South India. The region, known for its biodiversity (Unesco Nilgiri biosphere), is also rich in human diversity: more than 30 small ethno-linguistic groups, from hunter-gatherers to settled cultivators, live in the area. The ‘Kurumba’ groups we document are scattered on the borders of the three southern states and identified under a variety of names: Alu Kurumbas and Jenu Kurumbas in Tamil Nadu, Cholanaikkas, Kattunaikkas and Mullu Kurumbas in Kerala, Jenu Kurubas in Karnataka. Their languages belong to the South branch of Dravidian, but further identification or...
The aim of this DoBeS project is the documentation of Kyanga and Shanga, two still under-investigated and endangered Eastern Mande (Niger-Congo) languages. The argument for research on these languages comes with regard to the vital interest of the speaker communities to resist linguistic marginalisation and to safeguard their cultural heritage, but even more so in the overall historical value of the languages and their cultural practices as a source for the population history of West Africa. Due to their origin along the river Niger, Kyanga and Shanga are the same time at crossroads of the medieval empires of Songhay and Mali and local conquests of Songhay leaders, but they witness as well...
The project documents the Laal language and culture. Laal is a language isolate spoken by the ca. 800 speakers in Gori and Damtar, two villages of the Moyen-Chari region of southern Chad, as well as in the Laal community settled in various towns in the country. All data were collected between 2011 and 2018. The archive contains audio and video recordings of interviews, daily life activities, stories, cultural events, songs and dances, and linguistic elicitation. Many recordings are annotated in ELAN and Toolbox-files. The archive also includes the following analytical resources: a Laal-French-English dictionary, a Laal orthography guide, a bilingual Laal-French text collection, an...
Lacandón Cultural Heritage is a documentation of the language and culture of the northern Lacandón(Maya), who live in the rain forest in Chiapas, the south-eastern state of Mexico. They number approximately 350 men, women and children, who have retained much of their traditional traditional culture and religion. The project serves as a preservative measure against loss of the traditional knowledge, stories, and verbal performances that are central to Lacandón culture. It also serves as an interactive resource tool for linguists and non-linguists to access data relevant to their areas of interest, such as folklore, ethnobotany, cultural anthropology, etc.
Lower Sorbian is a West Slavic language spoken in Lower Lusatia, Germany. The project was carried out in 2010-2015 in the Sorbian Institute, Cottbus, Germany with the aim to obtain and document speech performance of the native speakers of this endangered language. As a result, more than 100 hours of interviews and other recordings were made publicly available. All recordings are followed by an orthographic transcription and a German translation; selected samples are also transcribed phonetically and translated into English.
The major aim of this project is to collect a broad variety of spoken texts in order to document the language in various cultural contexts by doing audio- and video-recordings: story-telling, songs, traditional food preparation, plant medicine, fishing techniques, material culture and artifacts (fabrication of tapa and dancing costumes), traditional practices (feasts, life cycle) and the use of trick languages. The audio- and video-recordings document the different contexts and situations in which the language is used in the Marquesan speech community. The creation of audio- and video-recordings provide a valuable source for other scientific disciplines such as anthropology, oral literature...
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Annette Endruschat is funded to specialize in documentary linguistics by documenting the language and culture of the town of Minde, in the centre of Portugal with a population of 3380. Minderico is only spoken in Minde and not in any of the adjacent villages. It has to be regarded as highly endangered, because the number of (active) speakers of Minderico has decreased considerably to only a few hundred in the last three decades. In the recent past Minderico has become more and more restricted to the use in informal situations and Portuguese has developed into the main language of communication throughout the Minde region. There are also a few passive speakers who are able to...
This project will deliver detailed documentation of two undescribed Papuan languages from an almost completely unknown family in Southern New Guinea, plus more basic materials on two others. The project embeds a young German PhD student (Döhler) in a team including a seasoned field linguist (Evans) and a post-doctoral candidate (Miller), each with experience in another DoBeS project, two German collaboration partners, one being one of the few linguists in Germany with field experience in PNG (Comrie) and the other being at the forefront of new approaches to typology and data-mining (Gast), plus participation on targeted fieldtrips by an ethnobiologist (Healey) and a botanist (Damas). Nen...
Movima is a genetically unclassified language spoken in the so-called Moxos region in the savannahs of the Bolivian Amazon area. It is still spoken by more than 1,000 people (1,452 in 1996). Most speakers are over 50 years old and bilingual in Spanish. There are only very few children who still learn the language, while children are usually raised in Spanish only. Today, efforts are being made to implement the language at schools. The village Santa Ana del Yacuma, the center of the Movima-speaking area with approximately 12,000 inhabitants, was founded approximately in 1708 by the Jesuits. The Jesuits also converted the the Movima people to Catholicism. There does not seem to be an...
Documentation of Cultural Heritage in Three Endangered Bantu languages of the Kwilu (DRC): Nsambaan, Nsong and Ngong. Nsambaan [/], Nsong [soo], and Ngong [noq] are three closely related Bantu languages spoken in the vicinity of Kikwit Town (5°2'S 18°48'E, Kwilu district, Bandundu Province, DRC). Due to increasing urbanisation and growing popularity of Kikongo and Lingala, the survival of these rural languages is severely endangered. This project builds on a pilot PhD study which focused on the names and popular uses of animals, plants and mushrooms in five Bantu languages of the Kwilu, of which the two most endangered will be further documented here, i.e. Nsong and Ngong. The...