What we do
The goal of the Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) is to preserve endangered languages globally. To this end we give grants worldwide to individuals to document endangered languages. We provide funding for documentation projects led by individuals such as linguists, linguistic anthropologists and community members with skills in linguistic documentation.
The funds allow grantees to undertake fieldwork to record speakers of endangered languages on audio and video, compiling a documentary collection of an endangered language or genre. These documentary collections are then archived and preserved and are made freely available through the digital online Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), which is part of the library of SOAS University of London.
You can explore the results of our work by browsing the preserved collections at ELAR. Many of these collections contain the only recordings of last speakers of an endangered language, recordings of languages which have already fallen silent or which will fall silent in the next few years.
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, social science, and the language communities
• to make the documentary collections freely available
To achieve our goal of preserving endangered languages we provide training, run outreach events and provide support and expert advice on all aspects of documentation. See below for a list of our activities.