Daten zum Projekt

Documentation of Laal (Chad) - 2-year extension

Initiative: Dokumentation bedrohter Sprachen (beendet)
Bewilligung: 26.06.2015
Laufzeit: 2 Jahre


Laal is an unclassified language spoken in two villages in Southern Chad. It is very likely to be a language isolate, the only surviving member of a former language family spoken in the area. Laal has only about 750 speakers. The language is still passed on to children in the villages, but not anymore in town. More and more speakers leave the villages to settle in town, putting the language at a high risk of attrition and disappearance. Additionally, the growing strength of Islam in the villages as well as in town is causing a rapid and drastic cultural shift threatening traditional knowledge and practices in the very short term. The project aims at documenting both the language and the cultural practices. In the two-year extension of the project, the linguistic documentation will focus on syntax, semantics and information structure (Lionnet), the cultural documentation on oral history (Hoinathy) and the ethnomusicological documentation on pre-islamic songs (Loncke). A newly established ethnobotanist subproject will document the Laal plant nomenclature and taxonomy, the knowledge and practices related to plants and their various uses.


  • Prof. Dr. Tom Güldemann

    Humboldt-Universität Berlin
    Philosophische Fakultät III
    Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften
    Seminar für Afrikawissenschaften

  • Florian Lionnet, M.A.

    University of California - Berkeley
    Department of Linguistics
    Berkeley, CA