Documentation of Ongota
Graziano Sava, Universita degli Studi di Napoli "l'Orientale"
Individual Postgraduate Fellowship. Duration: 2008-2010. £56,418
Ongota is the traditional language of a hunter-gatherer community in Ethiopia. It is being abandoned in favour of neighbouring Ts’amakko (Cushitic) and is only spoken by Ongota elders. The language defies classification and is considered an isolate. Investigating the origins of Ongota and its community will provide important insight into African linguistic diversity and history. The documentation of Ongota aims at the production, processing and archiving of video and audio recordings of the language. Part of the material will be properly annotated. Grammar and vocabulary will be left with the community. The applicant speaks Ts’amakko, the only possible contact language.