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Colleen Ahland
Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. (Dallas, TX 75236-5629)
Documentation of Daats'iin, a Language of Western Ethiopia

Fieldwork and research to produce documentation of Daats'iin, a newly discovered and endangered language of western Ethiopia.

Daats’iin is a heretofore unknown language spoken in two villages in northwestern Ethiopia’s Amhara region, near the border with the Republic of Sudan. The estimated native-speaker population is 300-1,000. The language has only recently been identified as distinct from Gumuz, the language of a neighboring group, and it is endangered due to pressures from that group and from two other languages of wider communication in the Sudan-Ethiopia borderlands: Arabic, used in matters of trade and religion, and Amharic, the lingua franca of the surrounding Amhara region. The dominance of Arabic and Amharic coupled with Daats’iin’s small population size and lack of official recognition renders the Daats’iin language vulnerable. My proposed project will result in an eight-to-ten-hour audio corpus and a two-hour video corpus of spoken texts, one hour of transcribed text including interlinearized English glosses, a preliminary Daats’iin lexicon of 3,000 entries with both English and Amharic translations and example sentences, and a journal article on the phonology of the language. All collected texts will be archived with SIL (the Summer Institute of Linguistics Language and Culture Archives) and ALORA (the Archive of Languages and Oral Resources of Africa). (Edited by staff)

[Grant products]

Project fields:

Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Research Programs

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

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 12/31/2018