Language and Culture of the Urarina People
Knut Olawsky, La Trobe Univerisity
Individual Postgraduate Fellowship. Duration: 2003-2005. £64,362
Urarina is a language isolate spoke by less than 3000 people in the Province of Loreto, Peru. Recent contact with oil companies and traders has led to cultural loss and linguistic shift to Spanish in some communities.
The project is to conduct a comprehensive study of the Urarina language and the culture of its speakers. It aims at the production of a thorough documentation of the language. This will include a comprehensive descriptive grammar written in terms of basic linguistic theory, which will be accessible to scholars from a wide range of backgrounds. The development of a comprehensive multilingual Urarina-Spanish-English dictionary is the second significant task. This dictionary will provide the Urarina people with a practical resource to be used in language maintenance programmes. It will serve as an important repository for cultural significant information. In addition, the project aims at producing an account of social and cultural aspects of Urarina life.
Project archive deposit:
Material from the project is available here