Lamkang Language Resource

Purpose

The goal of the Lamkang Language Resource is to foster the sharing of resources and expertise between linguists and local scholars in order to facilitate the documentation of Lamkang. This collection includes annotated texts with accompanying sound files and aligned transcriptions.

The collection is meant for all those interested in learning more about the Lamkang people, their language, and culture. It provides native speakers with information they can use to create materials for language teaching including information on all levels of language structure such as the sounds of Lamkang, spelling conventions, sentences and words. The Lamkang Language Resource also aims to help speakers share traditions of storytelling, song, dance, costumes, and other linguistic cultural events.

Sources

The collection is possible because of the generous giving of time and talents by Beshot Khullar, Shekarnong Sankhil, Daniel Tholung, and Rex Khullar, Kumar, and Sumshot Khular. Major contributions of still and video documentation of traditional Lamkang songs and dances are from Daniel Tholung. Major contributions of video of narrative events are from Rex Khullar and Harimohon Thounaojam. Data was also collected by the UNT team in two orthography and grammar workshops held in DBI Guahati (2013 and 2016) as well as conversations with speakers in Delhi, Imphal, Chandel, and Hyderabad from 2007-2018. Linguists Shobhana Chelliah, David Peterson, Tyler Utt, Thangi Chhangte, Harimohon Thounaojam Singh, Prafulla Basumatary, and Willem de Reuse worked on discovery of conjugation patterns and text analysis. We are also grateful for continued correspondence, support, and materials shared from the literacy group of SIL and the work they have done with the Lamkang Language Education Committee and the Lamkang Literature Society and under whose guidance a collection of children's stories, dictionary, and folktales have been produced. Major contributions came from Daniel Tholung, Shekarnong Sankhil, and Sumshot Khular as visiting scholars at the University of North Texas.

Acknowledgements


National Science Foundation Logo

We would like to thank the National Science Foundation for providing major funding for this project through a Documenting Endangered Languages Grant. Supporting funds were provided by several intramural funds from the University of North Texas.

Impact

UNT students and students from the University of Guwahati have received training via fieldwork on Lamkang with native speakers. Learn more in the Spring 2018 issue of the North Texan.

A Note on Spelling

Spelling standardization is of ongoing concern to the Lamkang community. One major goal of the project is to create an online Lamkang dictionary. However, we do not wish to suggest that the way we’ve selected to represent the words should be taken as the only way to spell Lamkang. Instead, we hope that our morphological analysis assists speakers in making informed decisions on the orthography.

two men at table with whiteboard
figure 1: Workshop 2013, photograph by Prafulla Basumatary
eight people gathered around work tables
figure 2: Workshop 2013, photograph by Prafulla Basumatary


whiteboard with text
figure 3: Workshops 2016, photograph by Shobhana Chelliah
six people at a conference table
figure 4: Workshops 2016, photograph by Prafulla Basumatary

men seated on benches outdooors
figure 5: Culture and Literature Workshop, photograph by Daniel Tholung
three people outdoors looking at clipboard
figure 6: Mary with Shekarnong, photograph by Shobhana Chelliah—Chandel 2018

people outdoors near a street
figure 7: Melissa, Prafulla, Anukampa, and Dhruv in Hyderabad, photograph by Shobhana Chelliah



At a Glance