The Latest

Documentation in Southeastern Tepehuan (O’dam), 2010-2011

On July 6, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Gabriela Garcia Salido

Thanks to the support provided by the O’dam community, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in conjunction with the Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL), the project: Documentation of Southeastern Tepehuan: A Corpus of Annotated Texts (No. 1065085) has exceeded the established goal (15-20 hours). That is, we were able to gather 27 hours of natural recording material, of which 10 hours of the audio and video materials provide time-aligned transcriptions, multi-tier annotations, morpheme-to-morpheme and free translations into Spanish. This corpus provides data of more formal and informal forms of narration and dialogues. Among the twenty-seven hours recorded, two correspond to video recordings, which are essential because they provide an account of the social contexts in which the audio recordings occur. The corpus also includes a good amount of traditional stories, advices, recipes, jokes, riddles, anecdotes, life stories, and prayers, as well as descriptions of the political and social organization of the community.


Thank you to Dr. Joel Sherzer and The Dirección de Educación Indígena (SEP-Durango) for facilitating the activity of training O’dam teachers in linguistic basics throughout a workshop. These meetings were conducted in the city of Durango, Mexico and they focused on the description and the analysis of the language (i.e. basic phonology, morphology and syntax), and the discussion of some tools in the process of teaching. There is a huge interest among the native speakers in documenting and preserving their language, and especially among the teachers to learn more about the grammar, and the creation of pedagogical material. Our next workshop will be held in the Sierra of Durango, and we are looking forward to it (TBA)!


A contribution to Uto-Aztecan: congrats to Givón!

On May 5, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Gabriela Garcia Salido

Ute Reference Grammar

T. Givón
University of Oregon

Ute is a Uto-Aztecan language of the northern-most (Numic) sub-family. It is currently spoken on three Indian reservations in western Colorado and eastern Utah. Like most native languages in North America, Ute is severely endangered, and this book is part of the effort toward its preservation. The description given here is based on 35 years of work on the Southern Ute Reservation in Southwest Colorado. Typologically, Ute offers a cluster of intriguing features – nominalization of all subordinate clauses, pragmatically-controlled word order, an evolving system of pronominal suffixes, remnants of a noun-classifier system, a constantly expanding system of post-positions, and more – all viewed best from a perspective of ongoing historical change. While the book is a comprehensive description of the grammar as used now by Ute elders, it also describes a language in the midst of historical change. It is the first of a three-volume set which also includes a collection of oral texts and a dictionary. Ute speakers and tribal members on the three Ute reservations may find this volume a step-by-step introduction to the grammar of their language – how words are combined into meaningful clauses, and how clauses in turn are combined into coherent communication. Linguists may find here a detailed description of a beautiful language, an account informed by communicative use, language universals, and diachronic change.

[Culture and Language Use, 3] 2011. xxi, 429 pp. + index Hb    978 90 272 0284 0 Pb    978 90 272 0285 7 E-book    978 90 272 8741 0
Expected May 2011
Table of contents USD 165.00 USD    54.00 USD 165.00

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: sound system and orthography Chapter 3: Word classes and word structure Chapter 4: Simple clauses: Verb types, participant roles, and grammatical relations Chapter 5: The diachrony of ute case-marking Chapter 6: Tense, aspect, modality and negation Chapter 7: Noun phrases-i: Referential coherence Chapter 8: Noun phrases-ii: Larger modifiers Chapter 9: Verbal complements Chapter 10: De-transitive voice Chapter 11: The diachrony of Ute passives Chapter 12: Relative clauses Chapter 13: Contrastive focus and emphasis Chapter 14: Non-declarative speech acts Chapter 15: Possession Chapter 16: Comparative constructions Chapter 17: Adverbial clauses Chapter 18: Clause chaining and discourse coherence Chapter 19: Lexical derivation patterns




On April 5, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Gabriela Garcia Salido

Center for Indigenous Languages of Latin America,         The University of Texas at Austin

The fifth CONFERENCE ON INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES OF LATIN AMERICA will be held October 6-8, 2011, at the University of Texas at Austin.  We invite the submission of abstracts on research about any aspect of Latin American indigenous languages. Already published papers will not be accepted. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Grammar                                                            Linguistic Anthropology

Sociolinguistics                                                   Language Planning

Language Politics                                                Linguistic Theory

Historical Linguistics                                           Language Vitality

Discourse                                                            Indigenous Literatures

Cooperation with the Community

Spanish is encouraged for presentations; English and Portuguese are also acceptable.


Pedro Mateo Pedro, Harvard University

Frank Seifart, EVA-MPI Leipzig

Luciana Storto, Universidade de São Paulo

Roberto Zavala, CIESAS Sureste

Speakers are allowed 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. Papers will be selected based on the evaluation of an anonymous abstract, which may not exceed 500 words.  Electronic submissions are encouraged. We cannot accept more than one paper per author.

SUBMISSIONS:  Deadline for receipt of abstracts is May 2, 2011.  Please send your abstract to, Subject: CILLA V abstract.  Please include in the following order (in your message, but not in the abstract):

  1. Title of the paper
  2. Author’s name
  3. Author’s affiliation
  4. E-mail address at which the author wishes to be notified
  5. Equipment needs for the presentation.
  6. An abstract of 500 words maximum (please send as a Word attachment. Title of Word file: Lastname_Firstinitial_CILLAV).

Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent by May 31.

REGISTRATION: (at meeting, no credit cards)

$20 students; $40 non-students; registration scholarships for speakers of indigenous languages


Nora England
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station B5100
Austin, TX 78712-0198
Previous CILLA papers:


On April 4, 2011, in Updates, by Gabriela Garcia Salido

Welcome to the O’dam Documentation Language Project (ODLP)

Beyond the scientific merits of the NSF project, we will establish a Language Documentation Committee in order to prioritize a community- based approach to documentation and language revitalization. Specifically, the training of native Tepehuan speakers in language description including methods and tools (the use of audio and video recorders, transfer of files to a digital format, transcription methods, and the use of different annotation and interlinearization software) will provide the skills necessary for local language documentation which will impact both the acceptance and use of the resulting materials as well as improve the way people reflect on their own language. Additionally, the collected texts, as well the discussions of grammar will be used to develop pedagogical grammars and materials in the bilingual education programs currently in existence in the area.