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Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages (Salem, OR 97302-1902)
Gregory David Shelton Anderson (Project Director: January 2013 to June 2017)
K. David Harrison (Co Project Director: April 2013 to June 2017)
Documentation of Hill Gta [gaq] a seriously endangered Munda language

Documentation of the Hill variety of Gta' (Didey), an endangered language of the Munda family spoken in Malkangiri and Koraput Districts, Odisha State, India. The project would produce a grammar, a dictionary, and an annotated text collection in print and electronic formats.

This project proposes a comprehensive documentation in print and electronic media of the phonology, lexicon, and morphosyntax of the Hill variety of Gta' (aka Didey), a highly endangered language of the Munda family spoken in Malkangiri and Koraput Districts, Odisha State, India. The proposed project has three parts: (i) collection, annotation and archiving of video/audio materials representing all available speech genres, (ii) adding to an existing lexical database of Munda languages through the creation of an online Hill Gta' talking dictionary and (iii) training of indigenous community members as well as training/mentoring of two indigenous pre-doctoral assistants. Each area of research builds upon ongoing close collaboration with Indian scholars and native Hill Gta' speakers. Besides providing a fundamental and systematic documentation of this seriously endangered language, we will use the data we gather to advance typological and historical research on the Munda and Austroasiatic language families. We will add our new field data into a searchable comparative multi-media lexicon of Munda languages. Adding parallel data from Hill Gta' to large data sets from Remo and Ho, and smaller sets from Sora, Juray, Kharia, Santali, and Kera Mundari. This lexical database, together with grammatical and phonological databases that are under construction and our searchable corpus of annotated video materials, will serve as the basis for all future linguistic research on this poorly known family of languages.

Project fields:

Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation

Preservation and Access

$246,516 (approved)
$246,422 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2013 – 2/28/2017