Documentation of Ös: A Turkic Language of Siberia
Gregory Anderson and David Harrison, Swarthmore College
Major Documentation Project. Duration: 2005-2008. £65,572
The Siberian Turkic language known to its speakers as Ös (the name they also call themselves and the river which they live along) is known to science as "Middle Chulym." Both the language and its people have been historically misidentified, misclassified and grouped together with neighbouring peoples from whom they are distinct. Now moribund with fewer than 50 speakers (all over the age of 50), Ös remains only minimally documented, and has not been recorded previously in any digital medium.
The Ös documentation project is co-directed by Dr. Gregory Anderson and Dr. K. David Harrison, both of whom have long-term experience working on Siberian Turkic languages. It is based at Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
With full support of the Ös tribal council and community, we began our investigation in Summer 2003. In our project, we agreed to produce a children's storybook for the community. This will be the first book ever published in the language and will employ a writing system invented by a native Ös speaker, one of the very youngest at age 52. We plan to produce an Ös grammar and an electronic archive of annotated digital video materials.
Ongoing project description:
Some further information may be found at:
A project website is under development, to be launched in 2005.