The collection is meant for all those interested in learning more about the Lamkang language and to provide native speakers with information they can use for language teaching including information on all levels of language structure such as the sounds of Lamkang, spelling conventions, sentences and words and how to use these constiruction in everyday conversation.
The Lamkang community of Manipur State India has been growing its language’s resources. This post is about methods and approaches of community members and committees have used to document their language and culture.
From 2007 and 2009, Chelliah worked with Beshot Khullar and his son Rex Khullar, and Harimohon Thounaojam to review the Lamkang orthographies currently in use, and to gloss the extant published Lamkang texts such as versions of the parables from the New Testament. Both Beshot and Rex stressed the need for the documentation of Lamkang and the importance of securing cultural and linguistic heritage for future generations. In 2009 and 2010 Rex Khullar and Harimohon Thounaojam made video recordings of elders telling traditional stories and translated and transcribed these video recordings with guidance from Chelliah. A team of students at UNT worked to put these texts into FLEx and ELAN.
In 2010, UNT hosted Mr. Shekarnong Sankhil and Reverend Daniel Tholong as visiting scholars. These two native speakers of Lamkang were trained as Bible translators and so were able to participate in a Field Methods class at UNT using English as the language of exchange. Much more data and texts were collected during this visit, including the poignant video of Daniel Tholung reiterating the importance of the collection of traditional stories and keeping alive the traditional oral literature of the community. You can watch that video here.
Thus far the project team has recorded, transcribed and translated approximately four hours of audio and six and a half hours of video. In total, the material in the corpus now includes 130 annotated recorded speech events from nine female and seven male speakers, approximately 24 to 80 years of age. The texts include 4 Bible passages (2 versions of Psalm 23, 2 versions of the Prodigal Son, and a translation of the Gospel according to Luke); 11 interview-style conversations; 3 spontaneous conversations; 6 staged conversations; 9 conversations during elicitation sessions; 3 joke-telling sessions; 15 monologues (on the importance of language and culture documentation, traditional practices, and personal experiences); 53 traditional narratives; 1 discussion of proverbs; 8 Pear Story Retellings; 4 wordlists; and 10 miscellaneous written texts such a hymnal and youth magazine.
2013 Orthography Workshop
Many speakers have expressed to us that the only thing holding them back from producing more writing in Lamkang is the lack of a standard spelling system. Therefore, one of outcomes of the project, a working practical orthography, will be instrumental in increasing the use of Lamkang.
In January 2013, a workshop was held in Guwahati, Assam, where Shobhana Chelliah (University of North Texas), David Peterson (Dartmouth University), and Thangi Chhangte (independent scholar) met with several community members [listed on the people subpage] to review spelling practices and to get community input on development of a standard spelling system. On the basis of this discussion, Chelliah and Yamane created a six-page document of suggested spelling conventions Lamkang. This working document will be revised with input from the community. Part of the workshop involved recording verb paradigms and example sentences designed to gain a more complete picture of the Lamkang verb system.
20i6 Orthography Workshop
David Peterson (Dartmouth University) joined us for the 2016 orthography workshop. Here we worked on filling in holes on the conjugation system and spatial reference. We also worked on translating texts. Speakers each provided stories and other monologues which we have included in our database.
Visits to Chandel
In 2017 and 2018 we visited Chandel, Imphal, and Hyderabad and speakers, young and old, again shared of their time to tell stories and provide connected naturalistic speech samples.
Our Trip to Hyderabad
Working longi distance
Here is a list of various literature, posters, and presentations about the Lamkang language and its features.
- Reanalyzing South-Central Tibeto-Burnman's internal structure: Evidence from Lamkang by Mary Burke (January, 2019)
- Relative Clauses in Lamkang by Sumshot Khular (November 10, 2018)
- Nominalizing k-prefix in Lamkang by Sumshot Khular (November 9, 2018)
- Prosodic Word in Lamkang Verbs by Levi Acord (November 9, 2018)
- Lamkang phonology: Prefix syllable phonology by Melissa Robinson, Sumshot Khular, and Shobhana Chelliah (July 2017)
- Characteristics of Lamkang humor: Dead-baby jokes and other tales of Benglam by Jane Lorenzen (November 26, 2016)
- Vowels and almost vowels in Lamkang: Long, short, super short, and ?? by Shobhana Chelliah, Melissa Robinson, and Nancy Caplow (November 26, 2016)
- Lamkang onset correspondence by Tyler Utt and Jane Lorenzen (November 2015)
- Visiting Scholars - Daniel Tholung and Shekarnong Sankhil
- Visiting Scholar -- Sumshot Khular
- Slide show