Documentation of an endangered language: Kunashi

The project aims to provide a fuller documentation of Kunashi, a “definitely endangered” (UNESCO) unwritten and undescribed Tibeto-Burman language spoken in only one village – Malana – in the Kullu district in India. The inaccessibility of Malana has earlier contributed to the maintenance of its community´s traditional lifestyle and unique language, which are now increasingly under threat. The geographical location of Malana (Malana is surrounded by Indo-Aryan speaking villages), together with the unique linguistic make-up of Kunashi raise questions about its genetic classification inside Tibeto-Burman, about factors contributing to its special linguistic characteristics and about its prehistory, crying out for more detailed investigation before it is too late. The project will place the documentation of Kunashi within the context of a dialect survey of this region comprising 10 sites. 

The project is financially supported by the Swedish Research Council for the period 2015-2018 (VR dnr 421-2014-560).

Project participants