The National Science Foundation and the National Endowment of the Humanities awarded $3.9 million in fellowships and grants to help digitally document more than 50 endangered languages, the agencies announced yesterday.
This is the seventh round of grants to preserve records of languages threatened with extinction.
“Language is integral to what makes us human,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach. “When a language disappears before it is documented, it limits our understanding of the way that people interact with their social and natural environments. By supporting the creation of dictionaries, grammars and digital archives, the DEL program preserves and makes accessible a rich set of cultural information that reflects the traditions and accumulated wisdom of peoples who have lived and thrived on our shared planet.”