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FEL Grants: Supported projects

FEL regularly provides small grants to fund projects that revitalize and support the use of endangered languages. On this page you can see reports from a selection of the projects that we have supported. By joining FEL, you can support activities such as these.

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Grants for language: Isbukun Bunun

Title: Building of an Isbukun Bunun Corpus

Country: Taiwan

Language(s): Isbukun Bunun

Grantee: Shuping Huang

Year: 2009

Project summary

Isbukun Bunun is an Austronesian language spoken in central-southern Taiwan. The elder generation uses Isbukun Bunun actively in their daily conversation; however, under the influence of Han culture, the number of fluent speakers is decreasing.

I started collecting stories and narrations by the elderly since 2009, aiming to document and preserve Isbukun speech data for the potential of its revitalization and for language/culture diversity of Taiwan. The stories they told were video- and/or audio-taped, transcribed, and glossed morpheme-by-morpheme. A vocabulary list was also compiled. Documented in Chinese and English, our corpus will allow more people to appreciate the beauty and particularities of Isbukun Bunun. Seven indigenous elders were invited to join us. Among them, Priest Anu Ispalidav† was fascinated by the grammar of his own language, and wrote a book on Isbukun Bunun morphology after the completion of my project.

See the project website https://sites.google.com/site/bununcorpus (in Chinese because most users of Isbukun Bunun are also speakers of Taiwanese Chinese).

A dictionary built on the collected data
A banner found on my fieldtrip, saying: "Dear Bunun folks, do not overlook the signs for the death of our mother language. (We) shall not become a tribe without root and soul." Location: Tungpu, Nantou County, Taiwan
An Isbukun Bunun speaker (Left: Priest Alang Islituan) telling a story to the investigator (Right: Shuping Huang)

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