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The Survey of Zapotec and Chatino Languages Collection

From the website:

Zapotec-Chatino is a diverse language family with a 2500-year history involving the earliest writing and State-level social organization in the Western Hemisphere. Currently several Zapotec-Chatino languages have gone extinct only within the last generation and more than half of this family will be lost in the next generation. The work of the Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) project "Preserving and Enhancing Access to the Survey of Zapotec and Chatino Languages" (2013-2016) supported by the National Science Foundation ensured that the extensive media and transcription files of the Zapotec and Chatino Survey are permanently preserved in AILLA, providing free online dissemination that makes them discoverable and accessible for scholarly and educational purposes. Between 2007 and 2010, the Zapotec and Chatino Survey funded by The National Institute of Indigenous Languages of Mexico (INALI) and conducted under the auspices of the Project for the Documentation of the Languages of Meso-America (PDLMA) documented the languages spoken in 104 towns of Oaxaca, Mexico. In response to the decline of cultural knowledge through loss of these languages, young Zapotec and Chatino speakers applied a linguistic survey and transcribed the results. Without the work of the DEL project that funded the enhancement and archiving of the survey materials, that documentation would have remained beyond access for scholars and community members. The The Survey of Zapotec and Chatino Languages Collection includes over 300,000 recorded and transcribed utterances into a greater than one million word corpus containing thousands of vocabulary items and hundreds of grammatical patterns. The corpus is applicable to researching multiple levels of linguistic structure with potential for comparative linguistic study, through which we can gain insights into human cognition and into languages and cultures of ancient America and can be used for language maintenance efforts in Zapotec-Chatino communities and for education on language endangerment.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. BCS-1263671. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The collection of much of the data in this collection was supported by the National Institute of Indigenous Languages of Mexico [INALI].

Interactive Google maps showing locations of languages present in this and other Terrence Kaufman collections in AILLA are available

Technical Approach: