Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Dokumentation des Kam: Natürliche Interaktion, Multimodalität und gemeinschaftsgesteuerte ethnografische Dokumentation


Förderorganisation: ELDP (Endangered Language Documentation Programme) - SOAS University of London 

Förderperiode: 03/2021 - 02/2022

Projektbearbeiter: PhD Jakob Lesage


The goals of this project are diffenrent. Documentation, rather than description, will be its focus, so transcription and recording will be more extensive and not limited to data used for traditional grammatical analysis. The emphasis will be on language use in natural interaction, so that future linguistic analysis can be informed by the typical usage contexts in which constructions occur. It will provide a solid corpus for exploring topics in multimodality, such as the potential for sand to serve as a part of gesture space that speakers can draw in by way of gesturing. It requires as much video recording in additon to audio as possible. At the same time, aspects of traditional life will be documented through instructional texts and monologues describing tradional culture and traditional events, as well as prayers and dances. Antother intended outcome involves pratical tools that will be provided to the community to enhance the vitality of their language and to continue documenting Kam after the current project finishes.

This documentation will result in the following:

1) A corpus of language use in natural interaction, including audio-visual materials of 34 hours in total.
2) A corpus documenting tradional life, including audio, and video wheneveer possible, based on interviews on tradional life that were done earlier.
3) A practical orthography that will be developed taking into account the wishes and needs of the community.
4) A bilingual Kam-English dictionary with an estimated 3,500 entries.
5) an updated grammatical description that relies primarily on language in natural interaction, and only secondarily on elicitation.