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Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, PA 17603-2802)
Translation and Recording of Koryak Oral Literature

Research and writing of a translation into English, with commentary, of the oral traditions of Russia's Koryak people, who are located near the Bering Sea and whose language is endangered.

Koryak is a language indigenous to the Kamchatka, Russia, region. There are no fully fluent speakers under the age of 50, and very few children have even partial ability in the language. Language endangerment is caused by a history of colonialism and continues due to subtle, ongoing oppression of Koryaks and other indigenous people. Due to symbolic and material domination, Koryaks are shifting away from speaking the Koryak language. My project will result in publication of an English translation of Koryak oral literature, with commentary, that will bring Koryak myths, legends of local heroes, oral histories, and indigenous experiences of Sovietization to an English-reading world audience. The commentary employs ethnopoetic analysis, elucidating formal linguistic patterns that reflect traditional Koryak ways of conceptualizing the world. Related products include the writing and publication of journal articles, a Russian translation of the Koryak stories, and a DVD on the project’s storytellers with subtitles in Koryak, Russian, and English. Material generated by this project will be added to the PI’s current archive deposit at ELAR (the Endangered Language Archive), based at SOAS (the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies). (Edited by staff)

Project fields:

Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2019