A community-driven documentation of natural discourse in Anal, an endangered Tibeto-Burman language
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Summary of the collection
Anal is spoken by ca. 20,000 speakers in the area of Indo-Burmese border in southeastern Manipur, India. The collection documents mostly everyday conversations of speakers in their natural settings. In some cases the recordings consist of personal narratives of the participants.
The data was collected, transcribed and translated by a team of community members under the supervision of Pavel Ozerov. It is an annotated audiovisual corpus from different villages and represents different age groups of speakers, with an emphasis on older speakers from traditional hilltop villages.
Chandel district of Manipur is an area of exceptional ethnolinguistic diversity and is of a particular importance in Trans-Himalayan linguistics as the area where Naga and Kuku-Chin tribes and languages meet. It is characterised by a partition into a multitude (dozens) of little communities speaking related but not mutually intelligible languages. Anal tribe is one of the largest communities of this area, with around 20,000 members. The community affiliates with the Naga tribes and as such represents one of the southernmost Naga communities. Traditionally, community members live in hilltop villages and practice slash-and-burn (“jhum”) cultivation. Nowadays, following waves of major population shifts, many Anal people reside in the valley towns of Chandel and Chakpikarong, in close vicinity with other communities. Nonetheless, most of the hillside villages remain populated. The speakers of Anal are typically at least bilingual with Manipuri (the local lingua franca), while many community members are multilingual with a good knowledge of English, Hindi and the minority languages of the area.
Anal language is a Trans-Himalayan (Tibeto-Burman) language of the North-Western group of the South-Central branch of languages (formerly called ‘Old Kuki’, although the community affiliates with the Naga tribes). It is spoken by ca. 20,000 speakers in the southeastern part of Chandel district of Manipur, Northeast India, as well as in one village in Myanmar. Following recent population shifts, the speakers reside primarily in the towns of Chandel and Churachandpur, yet a substantial number of Anal people still lives in hilltop villages. Most of the speakers are bilingual with Manipuri or multilingual. At least a dozen of mutually unintelligible but related languages is spoken in neighbouring villages. The language is remarkable for a variety of typological features such as marking of grammatical categories by tone and vowel length (including hierarchical verbal indexing with vowel length as the inverse marking), ergative argument alignment with explicit marking only of the absolutive case, verbal numerals and many others. It also exhibits a very rich and conservative verbal morphology which is important for the historical reconstruction of the family.
The collection includes recordings of natural interaction of elderly speakers in their traditional homes in hilltop villages.
The majority of the bundles are audio-video recordings accompanied by a transcription and an English translation in ELAN format. Some recordings are audio-files only and consist of elicitation of morphophonological data from different villages.
There are ca. 13 hours of annotated recordings of spontaneous speech, ca. 5 hours of personal narratives and discussion of traditional topics, accompanied by ca. 3 hours of recordings of speaker’s consent (in Anal, at times with English translation).
The data were collected by a team of community members under the supervision of Pavel Ozerov primarily in 2016, with occasional additions of materials until 2019. It includes data from speakers in Chandel, Chakpikarong and many hilltop villages in Sulam and Greenhills areas.
The data in this collection represent the personal views of the participants and do not necessarily represent views of other community members and/or of tribal authorities. None of the data in this collection may be used in as evidence in court.
Acknowledgement and citation
Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge the Anal Literature Society and Pavel Ozerov as data collectors, and Pavel Ozerov as the principal investigator. Users should also acknowledge the Endangered Languages Documentation Program as the funder of the project. Individual speakers and the collector and translator of the data used should be acknowledged by name. All information is available in the metadata.
To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:
Ozerov, Pavel. 2018. A community-driven documentation of natural discourse in Anal, an endangered Tibeto-Burman language. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/2196/00-0000-0000-000F-CB55-6. Accessed on [insert date here].