Language Endangerment

Today there are about 6,500 languages spoken worldwide and at least half of those will have fallen silent by the end of this century. In many areas of the world, globalisation creates economic, political and social pressures on people who in response give up their traditional ways of life, find new sources of income and move to cities. This causes speakers to cease speaking their traditional languages, and turn to other, typically more dominant languages to foster economic and social mobility for their children.


While throughout human history speakers have shifted to other languages, the speed of this development has increased dramatically over the past century. Each of these languages expresses the unique knowledge, history and worldview of their speaker communities, and each language is a specially evolved variation of the human capacity for language. Many of these disappearing languages have never been described or recorded and so the richness of human linguistic diversity is disappearing without a trace.

The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme responds to this loss by supporting researchers to document endangered languages worldwide.


Our key objectives are
• to support the documentation of as many endangered languages as possible
• to encourage fieldwork on endangered languages
• to create a repository of resources for linguistics, the social sciences, and the language communities themselves
• to make the documentary collections freely available

What we do

We give grants to individuals like linguists, linguistic anthropologists and community members to document endangered languages and to archive and publish them publicly accessible globally.

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About us

The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme was founded in 2002 with a donation from the Arcadia fund to SOAS University of London and has funded over 380 language documentation projects globally so far.

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Our Grants

We fund world wide and individuals regardless of nationality or host institution can apply. We offer four different grant types and run one granting cycle per year opening 15th October each year.

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Projects

Our focus is the linguistic documentation of endangered languages and making the digital collections freely available online. In addition we support capacity building through training in London and in country.

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ELDP DOCUMENTATION PROJECTS

TO MAP

NEWS AND EVENTS

October 10-17, 2018

Training in Language Documentation with a focus on the MENA region, Berlin, Germany
ELDP, in collaboration with Zentrum fuer Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, will deliver a week-long programme on theory and methods on modern language documentation in the Middle East and Northern Africa. More information: here

October 15, 2018

ELDP grant round will open. Information about the application process here

August 10-20, 2018

Capacity Development in Africa: ELDP training in Documentary Linguistics
In collaboration with NIMAR and WOCAL9, ELDP is running a 10 day training in Rabat, Morocco for African scholars and students. Training will take place right before WOCAL 9 conference: African Languages in a Global World.

June, 18 - July 20, 2018

Course on the theory and practice of video recording
Dr Mandana Seyfeddinipur will be teaching the ELDP course "Getting the full picture: Language use and the importance of video" at The Institute on Collaborative Language Research (CoLang 2018), Gainesville, Florida.

January 15, 2018

Grant round closes at 5pm, GMT.