Kone Foundation approves funding for a research project on language documentation in Russia
Building an annotated digital corpus for future research on Komi speech communities in northernmost Russia
The town of Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula, where more than 1000 inhabitants (approx. one third of the total population) are Iźvatas.
The project aims to improve the availability of linguistic documentation of varieties of Iźva kyy 'Iźva language' which is an endangered dialect of Komi-Zyrian spoken in the North of the Komi Republic and in diaspora communities in the Murmansk Oblast, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. Komi-Zyrian belongs genealogically to the Permic branch of Finno-Ugric. Speakers of Iźva kyy call themselves Iźvatas.
The main outcome of the project will be an open-access digital corpus of spoken Iźva kyy, annotated in standard Komi, Russian and English, linked to multimedia files and intended for linguistic research and for the language communities, to be stored at The Language Archive (LAT). It is to be carried out within the framework of documentary linguistics of endangered languages as a joint effort between researchers in the Komi Republic and Germany. The language documentation in the project will be based on own fieldwork and legacy materials.
The team shall consist of experienced documentary and Finno-Ugric linguists; one of the three project leaders is a native speaker of Iźva kyy. Project leaders are Rogier Blokland (Munich), Marina Fedina (Syktyvkar) and Michael Rießler (Freiburg). Funding for the proposed project would go towards a PhD scholarship at the Scandinavian Department, remuneration for project collaborators, travel expenditure and material support.
The project is funded by Kone Foundation with 175.700 EUR. The Freiburg portion of the project includes a project on the Iźvatas' contacts with Saami and the other neighboring minority groups. It will be part of the Freiburg Research Group in Saami Studies.
The project will commence in January 2014 and will last for 3 years.
Contact: Michael Rießler