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Endangered Languages and Endangered Archives

The work related to Endangered Languages and Endangered Archives at the Fryske Akademy and the Mercator European Research Centre is focused on the study of language contact and language change and the reconstruction of historical sound recordings. We investigate the phonetic aspects of languages and dialects of minority and regional languages, in particular those of the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries. Various projects have been supported by grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Organisation INTAS of the European Union, the Endangered Archives Project of the British Library, the Japanese Foundations and Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.

More about the Endangered Languages project:

Conference visits

12-17 September 2016: Sakhalin conference in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

In September 2016 Tjeerd de Graaf attended the conference in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Sakhalin. The conference was devoted to the fact that 120 years ago the local ethnographical museum was founded.

Read more about the conference.

12-14 September 2012: The use of IT for the presentation and teachings of indigenous languages in Siberia (FELXVI conference)

Hosted by: Auckland University of Technology

Tjeerd de Graaf spoke at the Conference. Watch a video of his presentation here.

Ongoing projects

Nicolaas Witsen project on History

This project is aimed at an investigation of the minor peoples of Northeast Asia, their history, culture, language and (present day) way of life. It gets its inspiration from the book Noord en Oost Tartarije ofte Bondig Ontwerp van eenige dier Landen en Volken by the Amsterdam mayor Nicolaas Witsen who traveled to Russia in 1664/65 and collected data on the physical appearance of the country, its fauna and flora and, in particular, on the peoples of Siberia and the Far East.

Endangered Archives

Language documentation

Finished projects

2002-2005: Voices from Tundra and Taiga 

The NWO project "Voices from Tundra and Taiga" started in May 2002 and lasted until June 2005. In a number of subprojects, carried out by different teams throughout the Russian Federation, this project contributed to the strengthening and revitalization of various minor indigenous languages of the Russian North, including Nenets, Nivkh, Yukagir, Khanty, Mansi and others. The project was part of a general research program with the same name.


Documenting endangered languages and language maintenance

Contribution to the UNESCO encyclopedia of life support systems (EOLSS) 6.20B.10.3

Download the article here

List of publications by Tjeerd de Graaf

Download the list here.

About Tjeerd de Graaf